Ask Chris: The 101’s Artistic Revival

Where did the paintings along the Hollywood Freeway come from?
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Q: Why are there new paintings on the walls along the 101 through downtown?

A: The murals on the Hollywood Freeway aren’t new—they’re coming out of hibernation. In 1984, the city celebrated the arrival of the Olympics by asking famous muralists to paint ten images (including lowriders and spaceships) along the stretch of road. Over time, taggers and Caltrans covered the works, but the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles is restoring them in honor of the 30th anniversary of the L.A. games.

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Nichols joined Los Angeles magazine in 2000. He writes the Ask Chris column and brings a historical perspective to the magazine with pieces on lost neon, vintage road trips, and stylish Angelenos living in the past. He has been involved in historic preservation for 25 years working to save the iconic mid-century modern architecture of Los Angeles. His book The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister won the Independent Publishers award in 2008.Got a burning question about life in L.A.? Chris Nichols has an answer. Want an urban myth debunked? Need to settle a wager? E-mail your questions to [email protected]