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Self-Guided Virtual Los Angeles

Compiled by Janine Henri, UCLA (retired) and Kevin McMahon, SCI-Arc


Los Angeles Conservancy: Explore LA County 

Los Angeles Conservancy: Self-Guided Tours 

Discover Los Angeles Watts Towers 


UCLA: Mapping Indigenous LA

USC History Department Land Acknowledgement and History

Native Land App

Beyond Land Acknowledgement: A Guide


Califorina Architecture Collections Search Portal

CalPoly San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library - California Architectural Archives

CalPoly Pomona, College of Environmental Design - ENV Archives-Special Collections 

Getty Research Institute - Architecture & Design and 

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens - Architecture, Landscape Design and Planning

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens - Huntington Digital Library 


Southern California Edison Photographs and Negatives

UC Santa Barbara - AD&A Museum, Architecture & Design Collections

UCLA Library - Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Library Special Collections

UCLA Library, Center for Oral History Research - Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design

USC Libraries - Los Angeles and Southern California Regional History 

See also: 

USC Digital Library 


Getty Research Institute - Architecture & Design Collections Research Guide

Los Angeles Conservancy Historical Research Guide: 

USC Libraries - Los Angeles and Southern California 





Past Due: Report and Recommendations of the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Civic Memory Working Group

LA as Subject 


(compiled by Kevin McMahon)

A People's Guide to Los Angeles by Laura Pulido; Laura Barraclough; Wendy Cheng. [This book documents 115 little-known sites in Los Angeles where struggles related to race, class, gender, sexuality, and the environment have occurred. They introduce us to people and events usually ignored by mainstream media and, in the process, create a fresh history of Los Angeles.] 

Johnson, Gaye Theresa, Spaces of conflict, sounds of solidarity: music, race, and spatial entitlement in Los Angeles.

Gilmore, Ruth Wilson, Golden gulag : prisons, surplus, crisis, and opposition in globalizing California.

Hise, Greg, "Identity and social distance in Los Angeles," Landscape Journal, March 2007, p. 45-60  

Jensen, Joan M., “Apartheid: Pacific Coast style,” Pacific Historical Review, August 1969, p. 335-340.

Markwyn, Abigail M.,Empress San Francisco; The Pacific Rim, the Great West, and California at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition.. 

Minorities in Architecture Panel, SCI-Arc, January 28, 1976 (Ray Kappe moderates a panel consisting of Jack W. Haywood, David Angelo, Jesus Arguelles, Arthur Silvers in the SCI-Arc Media Archive) 

Preston, Steven A., “New in town: ethnic diversity enriches the LA suburbs,” Planning, January 2012, p. 32-35 

Torres-Rouff, David Samuel, Before L.A.: race, space, and municipal power in Los Angeles, 1781-1894



Allmendinger, Blake, Imagining the African American West,

Barragan, Bianca, “Mapped: 20 places in LA where black architects left their mark,”, February 28, 2020, 

Bryant, Clora (Editor), Central Avenue sounds : jazz in Los Angeles.

Cheng, Wendy, The Changs next door to the Díazes : remapping race in suburban California.

Christian, Elizabeth, “Field overcrowded, discriminatory?: architects facing many professional challenges,” Los Angeles Times, November 27, 1983, p. J1 

Davis, Mike and Jon Wiener, Set the night on fire : L.A. in the sixties.

De Lara, Juan, Inland shift: race, space, and capital in inland Southern California.

Flamming, Douglas,  Bound for freedom: Black Los Angeles in Jim Crow America.

Graaf, Lawrence B. et al., Seeking El Dorado: African Americans in California.

Home, Gerald, Fire this time : the Watts uprising and the 1960s.

Jefferson, Alison Rose, “African American leisure space in Santa Monica: the beach sometimes known as the Inkwell, 1900s-1960s,” Southern California Quarterly, #2, 2009, p. 155-189.

Johnson, Gaye Theresa, Spaces of conflict, sounds of solidarity : music, race, and spatial entitlement in Los Angeles.

Jones, Kellie, Now dig this! art & Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980.

Jones, Kellie, South of Pico : African American artists in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s.

Kun, Josh & Laura Pulido, Black and Brown in Los Angeles : beyond conflict and coalition.

L.A. Rebellion (UCLA Film & Television Archive) on YouTube (Films, news footage, interviews),  

Minorities in architecture panel (January 28, 1976), with Arthur Silvers (DMJM) & Jack W. Haywood,  

Morris, Jason E., Nov. 2016, for NOMA & AIA/LA, “A map of featured Los Angeles buildings by African American architects,”

Pynchon, Thomas, “A Journey Into The Mind of Watts,” New York Times, June 12, 1966.

Rosas, Abigail, South Central is home : race and the power of community investment in Los Angeles.. 

Sides, Josh, L. A. city limits: African American Los Angeles from the Great Depression to the present.

Torres-Rouff, David Samuel,  Before L.A. : race, space, and municipal power in Los Angeles, 1781-1894.

Viehe, Fred W., “The Social-spatial distribution in the Black Gold suburbs of Los Angeles, 1900-1930,” Southern California Quarterly, Spring 1991, p. 33-54.

“Watts holds ‘dig-in’ for community arts center,” Los Angeles Times, June 25, 1967, p. F3.

Watts Writers Workshop, From the ashes : voices of Watts.



Brightwell, Eric, “Pan-Asian Metropolis — Pioneering Asian-American Architects in Los Angeles,”, 5 October 2016

Fong, Timothy P., The first suburban Chinatown: the remaking of Monterey Park, California.

Greenwood, Roberta, et al., Down by the station: Los Angeles Chinatown, 1880-1933..

Rawitsch, Mark, House on Lemon Street: Japanese pioneers and the American dream.

Vinnitskaya, Irina, “Breaking Ground: Chinese American architects in Los Angeles,” ArchDaily, 13 April, 2012 (Review of exhibit at the Chinese American Museum, Los Angeles)



Acuña, Rodolfo F., Anything but Mexican: Chicanos in contemporary Los Angeles.

Brack, Mark L., "Domestic architecture in Hispanic California: The Monterey Style reconsidered," Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, #4, 1991, p. 163-173.

Chávez, Ernesto, Mi raza primero! nationalism, identity, and insurgency in the Chicano movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978.

Deverell, William, Whitewashed Adobe: the rise of Los Angeles and the remaking of its Mexican past.

Faragher, John Mack, Eternity Street: violence and justice in frontier Los Angeles.

García Bedolla, Lisa, Fluid borders: Latino power, identity, and politics in Los Angeles.

Hillstrom, Kevin, Zoot Suit Riots.

Latorre, Guidela, Walls of Empowerment: Chicana/o Indigenist Murals of California.

Leclerc, Gustavo, et al., La Vida Latina en L.A. urban Latino cultures.

Pitt, Leonard, The decline of the Californios: a social history of the Spanish-​speaking Californians, 1846-1890.

Rojas, James Thomas, “Reading the Latino suburban landscape of East Los Angeles, Design Book Review, #32/33, 1994, p. 89-91

Romo, Ricardo,East Los Angeles: history of a barrio.

Sánchez, George J., Becoming Mexican American: ethnicity, culture, and identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945..



Adams, Elizabeth Tarpley, “Making the Sprawl Vivid: Narrative and Queer Los Angeles,” Western Folklore, v. 58, #2, 1999, p. 175–193.

Chavoya, C. O., & David E. Frantz. Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A..

Explore LGTBQ Los Angeles” (map, short films, and brief overviews of historic places, via The Los Angeles Conservancy)

Faderman, Lillian & Stuart Timmons, Gay L.A. : a history of sexual outlaws, power politics, and lipstick lesbians.

Kenney, Moira, Mapping gay L.A.: the intersection of place and politics..

One National Gay & Lesbian Archives (since 1994)

Tschorn, Adam & Arit John, “20 landmarks that underscore L.A.’s pivotal role in the fight for LGTBQ rights,” Los Angeles Times, June 7, 202.



Baumgardner, Frank H.,Killing for land in early California: Native American blood at Round Valley, 1856-1863.

Daly, Heather Ponchetti, “Fractured relations at home: The 1953 Termination Act's effect on tribal relations throughout Southern California Indian Country,” American Indian Quarterly, #4, 2009, p. 427-439.

Goldberg, Carole & Duane Champagne, “Ramona redeemed? the rise of tribal political power in California,” Wicazo Sa Review, #1, 2002, p. 43-63.

Haas, Lisbeth, Saints and citizens: indigenous histories of colonial missions and Mexican California.

Lake, Alison, Colonial rosary: Spanish and Indian missions of California.

Lightfoot, Kent & Otis Parrish, California Indians and their environment: an introduction (California natural history guides, v. 96).

Lindsay, Brendan C., Murder state: California's Native American genocide, 1846-1873.

Luthin, Herbert W., et al., Surviving through the days: translations of Native California stories and songs.

McCawley, William, First Angelinos: the Gabrielino Indians of Los Angeles.

Trafzer, Clifford E. & Joel R. Hyer, Exterminate them: written accounts of the murder, rape and enslavement of Native Americans during the California Gold Rush, 1848-1868.

Weibel-Orlando, Joan,Indian country, L.A.: maintaining ethnic community in complex society.



Anderton, Frances, “Women of substance: Julia Morgan and L.A.'s female architects,” KCET website, September 12, 2012

Brouverman, Neal, “6 Women who changed the face of L.A. architecture,” Los Angeles magazine, September 2015 (via lamag)

California Women in Environmental Design (CWED) was active from 1989 to 1994; archives are at the IAWA.

Diamond, Kate, "A herstory for women in architecture," L.A. Architect, October 1991, p.5-7

Elliot, Marguerite & Maria Karras (editors), The Woman's Building & Feminist Art Education, 1973-1991: a pictorial herstory.

Hays, Sarah & Marcie Homer (editors), Broadening the discourse: 5th annual conference, California women in environmental design (exhibition catalog).

Moore, Ann, "Breaking down the barriers: LA's minority and women architects," L.A. Architect, February 1990, p.[6]-7.

Organization of Women Architects & Design Professionals (OWA) A San Francisco-based network established in 1972.

Sheine, Judith, "California architects discuss sexual politics," Architecture, April 1992, p.24.

Women in Architecture, SCI-Arc, February 24, 1976 (Shelly Kappe moderates a panel consisting of Lynn Paxton, Claire Forest, Margo Siegel, Inga Rose, Ena Dubnoff, Margo Heymann, and Mary Nastanero; Available via the SCI-Arc Media Archive).

WomanHouse (Historic Los Angeles feminist arts resource and performance/exhibit/work space).

Zimmerman, Anne, "Women and Architecture," Architecture: The AIA Journal, April 1990, p.36.


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