About HistoricPlacesLA

HistoricPlacesLA (HPLA) is an online tool created specifically for the City of Los Angeles that inventories and maps over 65,000 records of designated and surveyed historic resources such as buildings, districts, objects, and sites, and documents their significance. The term “historic resource” is used throughout the inventory to refer to places that have been documented. In some instances a historic resource may have been determined not to be eligible for historic designation.

Many of the historic resources in HPLA were identified during a historic resources survey such as SurveyLA. Historic resources surveys are conducted from the public right-of-way, and only properties that appear to meet criteria for local, state, and/or national listing are recorded. Historic resources survey findings are subject to updates over time as properties age, additional information is uncovered, and more detailed research and analyses are completed.

Watch the About HPLA Video to learn more
Watch the About HPLA Video to learn more

Record Types

Every record in the inventory is stored as one of several Record Types. Search allows users to isolate and/or filter searches by one of the following Record Types: Historic District, Historic Resource, and Person or Group.

Historic District
A significant concentration, linkage, or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development. Numerous forms of Historic Districts are included in HistoricPlacesLA, including Historic Preservation Overlay Zones, California Register and National Register historic districts, and potential historic districts identified through historic resources surveys. Districts can include single or multiple parcels depending on the resource. Examples of resources recorded as historic districts through SurveyLA include properties that often span multiple parcels like bungalow courts, garden apartments, residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, large estates, school and hospital campuses, and industrial complexes.

Historic Resource
Any structure, object, site, property, or district with a special historical, cultural, or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage, or cultural characteristics of the city, county, state, or nation. In this context, Historic Resources can include both designated and surveyed historic resources evaluated for listing under a local, state, or federal historic preservation program.

Person or Group
An individual or organization related to the significance of a historic resource. An architect is an example of a Person, while a building company is an example of a Group.

The inventory also includes the following Record Types:

Administrative Area
Geographical areas with boundaries representative of city structure, governance, or neighborhood oversight. HistoricPlacesLA currently lists City boundaries, City Council Districts, Neighborhood Council boundaries, and Community Plan Areas as Administrative Areas.

Historic Event
A past event that establishes the historical context and significance of a historic resource. Historic events include both human and natural events that mark culturally significant moments in the history and development of Los Angeles. The “1932 Olympic Games” are an example of a historic event.

Information Record
A Record Type in HistoricPlacesLA used to record and catalog media assets in a variety of media formats, such as: photographs, drawings, documents, audio recordings, and videos.

Historic Resources Survey
A study, officially recognized by a local, state, or federal agency, resulting from a process of systematically identifying and documenting buildings, structures, objects, cultural landscapes, natural features, and historic districts that reflect important themes in the city's growth and development or the historic or cultural significance of a given area. Historic resources surveys may identify Surveyed Historic Resources as potentially eligible for individual listing or for listing as a contributor to a historic district in the National Register of Historic Places, California Register of Historical Resources, City of Los Angeles List of Historic-Cultural Monuments, or as a potential Historic Preservation Overlay Zone.

Planning District
Geographically defined areas that do not meet eligibility standards for formal designation but merit consideration in local planning. These areas generally have consistent planning concepts and features such as height, massing, setbacks, and street trees. Planning District data was recorded through SurveyLA to inform Community Plan updates and other policy documents. In some cases the Planning District Resource Type was used to identify a boundary identified for Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ or local historic district) consideration through community input but not through SurveyLA field surveys. These areas require additional analysis and field work for HPOZ determination.