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Wilshire Boulevard: Wikis


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Wilshire Boulevard
Maintained by California Department of Transportation
West end: Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica
I-405 in Los Angeles
SR 110
East end: Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles

Wilshire Boulevard (pronunced /'wɪlʃʊɹ/), commonly known as just Wilshire, is one of the principal east-west arterial roads in Los Angeles, California, United States. It was named for Henry Gaylord Wilshire (1861-1927), an Ohio native who made and lost fortunes in real estate, farming, and gold mining. Henry Wilshire initiated what was to become Wilshire Boulevard in the 1890s by clearing out a path in his barley field.



Running 16 miles (26 km) from Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles to Ocean Avenue in the City of Santa Monica, Wilshire Boulevard is densely developed throughout most of its span, connecting five of Los Angeles's major business districts to each other, as well as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica downtown. Many of the post-1956 skyscrapers in Los Angeles are located along Wilshire; indeed, one of the oldest and tallest is known simply as "One Wilshire." Aon Center, at one point Los Angeles's second largest tower, is at 707 Wilshire Boulevard in Downtown Los Angeles.

One particularly famous stretch of the boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues is known as the Miracle Mile. The area just to the east of that is referred to as the Park Mile.

All of the boulevard is at least four lanes in width, and most of the portion between Hoover Street and Robertson Boulevard has a raised center median. The widest portion is in the business district of central Westwood, where mobs of pedestrians crossing Wilshire at Westwood Boulevard must traverse ten lanes (including two left-turn pockets). This and the nearby intersection of Wilshire and Veteran are among the busiest in Los Angeles.


People getting on Metro Rapid 720 in Koreatown
Metro Rapid 720 bus headed to Santa Monica

The Purple and Red subway lines of the LACMTA run along Wilshire Boulevard from just past the 7th/Figueroa Street station before serving the Westlake/MacArthur Park and Wilshire/Vermont stations, where the Purple Line continues along Wilshire to serve two stations at Normandie Avenue and at Western Avenue in Koreatown, while the Red Line branches off to terminate in North Hollywood. Metro Local line 20, Metro Rapid line 720, Metro Rapid Express 920 and Big Blue Bus line 2 operate along Wilshire Boulevard. Considerable discussion is underway to extend the Purple Line to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, following Wilshire for most of its route: during the 2005 campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles, ultimately victorious candidate Antonio Villaraigosa pledged to begin construction on the Wilshire Boulevard subway.

The Metro Rapid line 720 operates along Wilshire and has been the object of considerable attention due to its significant growth in ridership since it started operating June 24, 2000. Due to its high ridership, 60-foot (18 m) NABI articulated buses are used on this route.

Wilshire Boulevard was named by Henry Gaylord Wilshire, a real estate developer from Ohio who also owned a lucrative gold mine in Aspendell, near Bishop, California. An historic apartment building, the Gaylord, across from the site of the Ambassador Hotel carries his middle name.

Traveling on Wilshire Boulevard (with the exception of late nights and Sundays) is difficult, as it passes through the busiest sections of Los Angeles. The Santa Monica and Brentwood portions are relatively tame, but the Westwood and Beverly Hills portions are almost guaranteed to have thick traffic. There are traffic lights on every block in Beverly Hills and the Miracle Mile.

The boulevard's widest portion is in Westwood and Holmby Hills, where it expands to six, and briefly, eight lanes. Several tall glitzy condominium buildings overlook this part of Wilshire, hence earning its title of Millionaire's Mile. This section is also known as the Wilshire Corridor.

The sections of Wilshire Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles are notorious for their giant potholes.[1]

MacArthur Park Connection

Wilshire Boulevard formerly ended at the MacArthur Park lake, but in 1934 a berm was built for it to cross and link up with the existing Orange Street (which ran from Figueroa to Alvarado) into downtown Los Angeles. Orange Street was renamed Wilshire and extended east of Figueroa to Grand. This divided the lake into two halves; the northern one was subsequently drained.

Cities and Communities along Wilshire Boulevard (east to west)

Map of Wilshire Boulevard and adjacent communities

Landmarks along Wilshire Boulevard (west to east)

LACMA West (formerly the May Company Department Store)

Major Intersections

The entire route is in Los Angeles County.

Location Destinations Notes
Santa Monica Ocean Avenue
Lincoln Boulevard
West Los Angeles I-405 (San Diego Freeway) – Sacramento, Long Beach Interchange; former SR 7
Sepulveda Boulevard
Beverly Hills Beverly Glen Boulevard
SR 2 (Santa Monica Boulevard)
West Hollywood La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles Western Avenue
Grand Avenue
I-110 / SR 110San Pedro, Pasadena Interchange
Figueroa Street Former US 6


  1. ^ Steven Leigh Morris, "L.A. Metro Buses Hammered By Potholes on Aging Wilshire Boulevard," LA Weekly, 5 September 2008.

Further reading



  • Roderick, Kevin; J. Eric Lynxwiler (2005). Wilshire Boulevard: The Grand Concourse of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA: Angel City Press. ISBN 1-883318-55-6.  


External links


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