History & Background
This is one of the original and largest neighborhoods in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). In what was originally a giant vineyard owned by the first commercial winemaker, Jean-Lewis Vignes, the Arts District today was the first neighborhood in DTLA to see significant popularity long before the Downtown Renaissance. In 1981, the city passed the “Artist in Residence” ordinance allowing people to legally live in the warehouses. The neighborhood is mostly large brick warehouses and wide streets with plenty of beautiful graffiti and huge murals to admire as you make your way through the neighborhood. The Arts District is also home to the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc).
Nightlife & Entertainment
The National Biscuit Company in the Arts District houses the popular restaurant Church & State, the success of which brought other nightlife choices into the area. Other local restaurants, wine and cocktail bars, coffee shops filled with vintage furniture, small boutiques, and tons of outdoor urban art arouse the artistic energy of this burgeoning neighborhood.
Today, most of the warehouses have been converted to very modern looking and spacious live/work lofts. However, there is still a significant amount of construction happening in the Arts District. Megatoys Lofts is building a 300-plus unit apartment complex, and the giant One Santa Fe apartment complex will open this fall with more than 400 units. Meanwhile, other warehouses continue to be converted into lofts and apartments.