The Southwest Museum is surrounded by a rich cultural and historical district that can be tied together to tell the Story of Place. Within this district is the Charles Lummis Home, Casa de Adobe, Heritage Square, the Arroyo Seco, Debs Park, and the Audubon Society; the Southwest Museum would provide the cornerstone of a vibrant and important cultural destination in Northeast Los Angeles.

The Living Museum concept of the Arroyo Seco Cultural and Economic Development District includes weaving together the following attractions:

  • El Alisal, the original home of the founder of the Southwest Museum, Charles Lummis, which is now managed by the Historical Society of Southern California
  • Casa de Adobe, a re-­‐creation of an 19th century ranch home inhabited by early Californians from Spain and Mexico
  • Heritage Square which consists of eight historically and architecturally significant homes saved from demolition and preserved by the Cultural Heritage Foundation
  • A string of a half-­‐dozen homes along Sycamore Terrace built in the Arts and Crafts style of the 1920’s, many listed as cultural-­‐heritage monuments by the City of Los Angeles
  • Recreational opportunities at Sycamore Grove Park, the Audubon Center and Ernest Debs Regional Park

Plan for the Southwest Museum and the environs

With the Metro Gold Line stations right at the doorstep of the Southwest Museum and Heritage Square, the living museum would be convenient to visitors. Because most of the destinations in the proposed Cultural District are within an easy walk or bike ride of each other and only 4.5 miles from downtown LA, the entire Cultural District would be easily accessible to tourists staying at hotels in downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood.

Master Plan for  Greater Sycamore Grove Cultural Redevelopment Zone

Master Plan for Greater Sycamore Grove Cultural Redevelopment Zone

Additionally, the district would provide a perfect setting for residents and visitors to enjoy cultural treasures while participating in Los Angeles’ active outdoor lifestyle and the city’s commitment to attractions that get residents out of their cars.

The Coalition’s plan would also create the demand for visitor amenities in the Arroyo Seco neighborhoods, including restaurants, gift and arts and craft shops that tie into the cultural destinations. Nearby York Boulevard has become one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods, thus giving the plan extra impetus to put the Arroyo Seco on the map and drive economic development and community improvements.

“The Southwest Museum is the key to unlocking the Arroyo Seco’s energy,” says PLUM architect Louisa Van Leer. “If the Southwest is fully opened and allowed to function as a vital museum, the plan starts to move forward.”

Plan for Regional Opportunities in the Southwest Museum's vicinity

Detail plan for regional opportunities in the Southwest Museum’s vicinity

Story of Place

Story of Place pulls together the threads woven through the heritage surrounding the Southwest Museum