Broadway, between 3rd and 9th streets in downtown Los Angeles is the home of a series of monumental theaters that during the first decades of the twentieth century defined a glorious era in the city’s history. In recent decades it has become a rundown stretch of partially or completely abandoned office spaces and sweatshops overlooking a retail, wholesale and informal-sector marketplace. Once proud buildings with elaborately chiseled artifices stand as defiant monuments to the urban decay that has left many of them hollowed shells. It can be boisterous; it can also seem desolate. The general atmosphere is one of economic neglect and decline, but change is in the air.
The photographs in this book show life on Broadway at the cusp of change, as gentrification efforts underway in the first decade of the twenty-first centurty have begun to alter its face, human and otherwise . . .
David Blumenkrantz is an Associate Professor of photojournalism and documentary at California State University, Northridge. His career includes an eight-year period living and working in East and Central Africa, and an eight-year stint as K-12 teacher in Los Angeles. He has freelanced for several publications, including the Los Angeles Times.