On February 24, 2015, at a ceremony held at City Hall, the GCI and City of Los Angeles officially launched HistoricPlacesLA, the Los Angeles Historic Resources Inventory. HistoricPlacesLA is the first online information system specifically created to inventory, map, describe, and help protect significant cultural resources in Los Angeles. The system will be an important tool for protecting and preserving the character of the city’s distinctive neighborhoods as Los Angeles continues to grow and change.
HistoricPlacesLA showcases the diversity of cultural resources in Los Angeles, including places of social importance, architecturally significant buildings, historic districts, bridges, parks, gardens, and streetscapes. This inventory can be accessed online by anyone interested in cultural resources, including policy makers, property owners, developers, visitors, students, history and architecture enthusiasts, and other stakeholders.
In creating HistoricPlacesLA, the GCI customized the Arches system, an open source, web- and geospatially based information platform built to inventory and ultimately protect cultural heritage places. Arches was jointly developed by the GCI and World Monuments Fund. HistoricPlacesLA is the largest implementation of the Arches platform to date and offers a preview of the powerful search capabilities available in Arches Version 3.0. The software is available at no cost, and organizations using it may modify it to meet their specific needs.
HistoricPlacesLA contains information gathered to date through SurveyLA, the citywide survey to identify significant historic resources. It is the largest and most ambitious historic resources survey project to date in the United States. SurveyLA is a multiyear public-private partnership between the City of Los Angeles and the Getty, including both the Getty Conservation Institute and the Getty Foundation. Significant cultural resources identified through SurveyLA are accessible and fully searchable online via HistoricPlacesLA, as are other historic resources that have been previously identified and designated. Information in the system will continue to be updated.
Prior to 2010 only 15 percent of the city had been surveyed for historic resources. Since 2010 SurveyLA has been surveying the remaining 85 percent of the city. SurveyLA is now approximately 75 percent complete—and information continues to come in.