From the Daily Scot:

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Afro Art

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What do you get when you combine block upon block of old brick warehouses and functioning light industry with the creative set just a short cycle ride from Downtown?  The LA Arts District, of course.  Sandwiched between Skid Row, Little Tokyo and the Los Angeles River, the Arts District is a compact, walkable collection of restaurants, cafes, tech startups, loft apartments and, of course, artist studios.
Windows
Restaurant

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Originally a bastion for cheap studio space during the ’70s and ’80s, pioneering artists occupied abandoned buildings throughout the neighbourhood, many often living in the structures illegally.  The City of Los Angeles eventually passed an artist-in-residence ordinance making it legal for them to live in their studios, helping to encourage and promote the area as an incubator for the arts.   The district has been rapidly gentrifying ever since, with expensive infill apartments and loft conversions now commanding top dollar.
Old vs New
Street Scene

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The newer building development really stands out; portions of old factory shells are preserved while contemporary structures emerge from the upper floors.  It seems to be all about juxtaposing styles that are still very sympathetic to one another in scale.
Loft Conversion

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Not all residential development is well received, some such as this project, striking fear from residents that the character of this unique district will be destroyed.
Arts 2

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Signs of the neighbourhoods previous industry are everywhere.  Factories, warehouse doors, and numerous abandoned rail spurs serving old loading docks have all been preserved and re-purposed for work and play.
You can’t help but wonder if there are essentially two parallel gentrifications happening at the moment: the first consisting of original artists being pushed out due to soaring rents and the second involving industry (especially on the fringes) losing space to tech studios and creative startups.  Whatever the case, the LA Arts District is definitely one of the hottest hoods in town.

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Mural
Gritty
 

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