Considered by the Greene brothers as their best architectural achievement, the Robert R. Blacker House is a grand bungalow which was built in 1907 for 100,000 USD. In adjusted figures, that sum is even more impressive, especially since the owner of the house provided the lumber from his own company. In the 1980s, a Texan purchased the house and sold off a number of the furniture and other interior accoutrements designed by the Greene brothers, causing a scandal among Pasadena's preservationists. Although the home is a private residence, no tour of historic L.A. structures would be complete without catching at least a glimpse of it.
Located in beautiful Griffith Park and given to the City of Los Angeles as a gift in 1896, the Greek Theater is an outdoor concert venue you must experience while staying in L.A. Though it can seat more than 6,000 patrons, you may never again enjoy such a truly intimate setting for listening to one of your favorite performers. Surrounded by trees, the space offers outstanding acoustics. Whether you prefer classical music, rock, easy listening or jazz, you'll love this place. Ticket prices vary widely and can often be somewhat expensive. Depending on the time of year, you'll probably want to bring along a sweater or jacket, since you'll be seated outdoors in a city that can get a bit chilly in the evenings. On show nights the box office remains open for 30 minutes before the show.
The magic begins at Disney Studios, the international headquarters of the famous company. This Burbank location was officially opened in 1940 and the lot contains a large animation building as well as several soundstages. Unfortunately, Disney does not offer tours and you can't wander the private property on your own. However, you can still admire it's beautiful buildings from outside. Everything about the buildings has the whimsical style of Disney, from the Mickey Mouse heads on the top of the fences to the 20 foot-tall Seven Dwarfs statues holding up the roof.
After the Palace Theatre was converted for silent films, the Orpheum vaudeville circuit moved here for its remaining years. Like the Los Angeles Theatre, it emulates the opulence of a French palace, with a marble lobby, a gold gilt ceiling and a rare organ. The theater is not now open to the public, except for once or twice a year during special events hosted by the L.A. Conservancy.
The Staples Center is home to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Kings and the Clippers. At many games, you can catch celebrity fans like Jack Nicholson and Leonardo DiCaprio courtside. It also hosts concerts of every kind with the biggest names in the business, seating up to 20,000 people. The arena boasts a $1.5 million Bose sound system and an eight-sided, high-resolution video scoreboard and public concourses with 1,200 television monitors. It's the perfect place to enjoy a spectacle of an evening.
The Page Museum shares the same location as the La Brea Tar Pits, so after you've witnessed the Pits which once entrapped Ice Age mammals, you can step inside and view the fossil remains. There are massive displays of mammoths, saber-toothed cats and an incredible collection of dire wolves. There are also exhibits of insects, plants and birds. Especially fascinating is the display of the skeletal remains of the La Brea Woman who is said to have lived about 9000 years ago. This is an extraordinary experience for the entire family.