Why Does Los Angeles Keep Rewriting Its Own Script?

Finding What's Worth Preserving in a City Known for Constant Change and Flux

Why Does Los Angeles Keep Rewriting Its Own Script?

There’s a classic scene in the 1991 comedy L.A. Story, where “wacky weekend weatherman” Harris Telemacher, played by Steve Martin, is giving a tour around the city of Los Angeles. “Some of these buildings are over 20 years old,” he says excitedly.

Angelenos get the joke. They know that for a breed of Southern Californians, it’s all about “out with the old and in with the new.”

But that’s not the whole picture. L.A. is also a metropolis well known for its distinctive neighborhoods, diverse influences, and quirky landmarks. Even …

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