Miracle Mile

Miracle Mile

The Miracle Mile is an area in the Mid-Wilshire and Westside regions of Los Angeles consisting of a 1.5-mile stretch of Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and Highland Avenues and the surrounding community. Known for its Art Deco, Streamline Moderne and Googie architecture and for its famous Museum Row, the area's surrounding neighborhoods are home to a diverse collection of Los Angeles County citizens, ranging from budding actors and artists to middle class professional families to affluent long-time residents.  The Miracle Mile District is bordered by the Fairfax District on the north, Hancock Park on the northeast, Mid-City on the southeast, West Pico on the south, and Carthay on the southwest

In the early 1920s, Wilshire Boulevard west of Western Avenue was an unpaved farm road, extending through dairy farms and bean fields.  By the early 1930's, Wilshire Blvd had been integrated into the Pacific Electric Railroad System, a large network of trolley cars known as Red Cars, which included a Wilshire Boulevard line.  Developer A. W. Ross saw potential for the area and developed Wilshire as a commercial district to rival downtown Los Angeles.  Ross's insight was that the form and scale of his Wilshire strip should attract and serve automobile traffic rather than pedestrian shoppers. He gave Wilshire various "firsts," including dedicated left-turn lanes and the first timed traffic lights in the United States, and he required merchants to provide automobile parking lots to aid traffic flow.  Ross ordered that all building facades along Wilshire be engineered so as to be best seen through a windshield which meant larger, bolder and simpler signage, longer buildings in a larger scale oriented toward the boulevard, and building meant to be appreciated at driving speed.  His moves were unprecedented an proved to be commercial and historical successes.  As wealth and newcomers poured into the fast-growing city of Los Angeles, Ross's parcel became one of the city's most desirable areas.
 
Sadly, by the late 1970's and 1980's the Miracle Mile was overwhelmed by the same forces of change that once made it a success. Increasing reliance on the personal automobile and uncontrolled sprawl ushered in the age of suburban shopping malls and, unable to compete, retailers relocated and shoppers abandoned the Ross model, leaving vacant storefronts and shabby discount stores in their place.  By the turn of the millennium, though, the Miracle Mile was experiencing an amazing resurgence.  Today, the area and its surrounding neighborhoods ooze with historical charm and plentiful things to see and do.   In addition to the many world-class museums of Museum Row, the El Rey Theater, the historic Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax and the La Brea Tar Pits are all important fixtures in the area. The Miracle Mile is also home to some of the entertainment industry’s biggest players such as E! Entertainment Television, The Screen Actors Guild, and Variety Magazine. Goldenvoice, AEG and several  independent record labels and entertainment publications are also headquartered there. 
 

There are many 1930's era bungalows and haciendas in the area as well as an array of historic apartment buildings for buyers and renters of all types.  High-end luxury condos and apartments have recently joined the Park La Brea mix and these cater to a somewhat wealthier clientele due to their close proximity to the Grove. The Miracle Mile offers residents a bevy of museums, cafés, restaurants, bars, markets, and night spots within a walkable range, making it a highly-sought spot for those seeking a more "city" lifestyle.  However,  there are also plenty of family oriented activities to be found and the area offers a lot for families to do together on weekends. You will always find kids getting pushed in strollers through the Farmer's Market, swinging from monkey bars in Pan Pacific Park, playing tag in the La Brea Tar Pits park, and walking the neighborhood hand-in-hand with their moms & dads through the many walk streets getting a bite from one of the many trendy gourmet food trucks you will find parked nearby.  Families striving to keep kids cultured have museums at their fingertips, and spots like The Grove and Farmer's Market hold family activities and events all through the year and for the holidays.