Credit: Tom Wetzel (

Given LA’s ongoing commitment to public transit (can you say Expo Line?), de LaB has decided to look back on the golden age of our subway—the original Los Angeles subway.

On May 10th, we invite you to join us for a special tour of the former Subway Terminal Building (now known as Metro 417), located just off Pershing Square in Downtown. The Italian Renaissance Revival building currently houses luxury apartments (fitting, in that original architects, Schultze and Weaver, were best known for their luxury hotels), but once served as the downtown terminus for the “Hollywood Subway” branch of the Pacific Electric Railway Interurban rail line, which follows a similar route to today’s Metro Red Line.

Credit: Metro Transportation Library and Archive

Built in 1925, the Subway saw its peak in 1944 – the trains carried an estimated 65,000 passengers through the tunnel each day. But as we all know, increased dependence on cars and the emergence of our beloved freeways led to the station’s closure in the 1950s. The tunnel is now on the US National Register of Historic Places and the list of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments (#77).

Architect John Lesak of Page & Turnball, Evan Janney of Metro 417, and Frank Frallicciardi of Forest City Development will offer us a sneak peek of this incredible slice of LA history.

Metro Transportation Library and Archive

For the full experience, we challenge you to meet us there via rail! After the tour, we’ll go for drinks and nibbles at the new Umamicatessen on Broadway, before heading into the streets for the Downtown Art Walk.