This view of downtown Los Angeles is taken from Interstate 110, the Harbor Freeway, on a day free from smog and haze that can clutter this world-famous view. Commonly seen in movies, the skyline of downtown Los Angeles is dominated by the tall U.S. Bank (Library) Tower, which rises 1,018 feet above street level. Photo taken 01/14/07.
Interstates | US Highways | State Routes 2-91 | State Routes 103-261 | Streets of Greater Los Angeles
Los Angeles, known also as “The City of Angels”, represents the second largest metropolitan area within the United States. Commonly referred to as L.A., Los Angeles is also the largest city in California and has a population of 3,694,820 people as of the 2000 Census. Los Angeles is a chartered city with a mayor-council form of government, consists of 498.3 square miles (including 29.2 square miles of water), was founded on September 4, 1781, and was incorporated on April 4, 1850.
Los Angeles is truly a city of villages, with many diverse communities and cultures spread throughout its areas. Tourism is a huge business in L.A., and there is plenty to keep any visitor occupied. Hollywood (the entertainment capital of the world), beaches, mountains, Griffith Observatory, cultural events, education (including prestigious University of California at Los Angeles [UCLA] and University of Southern California [USC]), industry, and climate keep people visiting.
To enable incredible growth through the 20th Century with limited water resources, the Los Angeles Aqueduct and State Water Project brought fresh water to an otherwise arid region, although not without controversy that continues to this day. Controversy is nothing new to a city this large. With a multicultural environment, tensions sometimes erupt, as they did in the 1965 Watts riots and 1992 Rodney King riots. A recent initiative to split the city into San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles failed, and it appears that it will remain a unified city for some time to come.