In 2005, the Los Angeles City Council adopted several measures that authorized funding and staff to undertake a comprehensive, citywide historic resource survey. The Getty, through the Getty Foundation, entered into an agreement with the city to provide financial support to the city over five years to underwrite a portion of the survey costs. As the city has reached key milestones, the Getty has matched the city's financial commitment to the survey. The GCI provided advisory support to establish the survey process.

The city's, Office of Historic Resources (OHR), created within the Department of City Planning in 2006, is responsible for directing the citywide survey, called SurveyLA. Survey LA covers the entire city and identifies resources dating from approximately 1865 to 1980.

A team of historic preservation consultants and historians undertook the initial phase of the survey project drafting a citywide historic context statement, development of a field data collection application and a Field Guide to Survey Evaluation. Field surveys were initiated in 2010 and are ongoing, and SurveyLA is planned to be completed in 2017.

Using information gathered through SurveyLA, as well as information on thousands of Los Angeles' designated historic resouces, the City of Los Angeles in 2015 launched HistoricPlacesLA: Los Angeles Historic Resources Inventory, an online information and management system to inventory map, and describe historic places in Los Angeles.

HistoricPlacesLA uses a customized version of Arches, an open-source, web-based, geospatial information system for cultural heritage inventory and management developed by the GCI and the World Monuments Fund.

It showcases the diversity of cultural resources in Los Angeles, including places of social importance, architecturally significant buildings, historic districts, bridges, parks, gardens, and streetscapes and is accessible to anyone concerned with Los Angeles' cultural resources. Over time, it will include information on all resources identified through SurveyLA, as well as on all designated resources.

Page updated: August 2019