- Fairfax District and Third St. in the North
- West Pico Blvd. in the South
- Highland Ave. in the East
- Fairfax Ave. in the West
- Carthay in the South West
- Hancock Park in the North West
Miracle Mile: A Brief History
After the ‘20s, Wilshire Blvd. west of Western--previously an unpaved farm road--was integrated into the Pacific Electric Railroad System.
Developer A.W. Ross saw potential in this and other aspects of the area. He had a vision of it as a prosperous new retail and business zone so he bought the land for $54,000 and set about molding and expanding the quarter. He is credited with, among other things, creating a car-oriented commercial district (its window displays were progressive for the time, bold and catering to drivers and passengers in passing cars). It was also the first linear Downtown area.
Soon, retail heavyweights like May Company (at Wilshire and Fairfax) and Desmonds settled into the area. As Los Angeles drew new residents and affluence spread throughout the city, Ross’ section became increasingly valuable and attractive to people. Then, the Wilshire strip between La Brea and Fairfax was named ‘The Miracle Mile’ as a testament to its miraculous ascension.
In the ‘50s and ‘60s Miracle Mile went into a decline. Yet, even during that era, some ‘stars were born,’ namely the famous Johnie’s Coffee Shop--a favorite Hollywood film location. The diner was first opened in 1955 (as Romeo’s Times Square) and designed in the Googie style of architecture.
Miracle Mile Today
During the ‘90s, Miracle Mile and its environs experienced a revitalization. Newcomers and natives appreciated (and continue to appreciate) its Art Deco and Streamline Moderne design and architecture. The area is always a favorite with local architecture and preservation organizations like The Los Angeles Conservancy, its ModCom splinter group and The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The aforementioned continue in their tireless efforts to preserve the area and to share its rich design history with visitors and locals via tours and events.
Miracle Mile’s architectural sights aren’t, of course, limited to Art Deco, Streamline Moderne and Googie structures. During the '90s, LACMA acquired the old May Company building and later in the turn of the millennium years there was a buzz around the museum’s revamp under the helm of world-renowned architect Renzo Piano. This greatly contributed to the renewed interest in the quarter.
Today, Miracle Mile is home to residents of all ages. And its spirit of pioneering design and city planning continues to be celebrated. Beyond the aforementioned organizations, the area’s Mid City West Community Council has also done its part to bring together neighborhood locals and people from other areas to experience the best of Miracle Mile. The council founded the annual Miracle Mile Art Walk in 2005.
Also in 2005, popular Los Angeles journalist and blogger Kevin Roderick published his book Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles, which explores the history and significance of its namesake and Miracle Mile.
Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Shopping in the Miracle Mile Vicinity
- American Rag Company
- El Carmen Mexican restaurant
- The El Rey Theatre
- Little Door French restaurant
- Molly Malone's
- Twin Dragon Chinese restaurant
Community Businesses and Organizations
- Hancock Park Art Center
- Miracle Mile Chamber of Commerce
- Miracle Mile Residential Association
- Westside Jewish Community Center
Schools in the Miracle Mile Area and District
- Boston University
- Cathedral Chapel School
- Fairfax High School
- John Burroughs Middle School
- Los Angeles High School
- Marlborough School
- Shalhevet School
- Wilshire Crest Elementary School
- Wilshire Private School
- Yeshiva Gedolah of Los Angeles
Cultural and Historic Sights of Miracle Mile
- Broad Contemporary Art Museum
- CBS Television City
- Johnie's Coffee Shop
- The La Brea Tar Pits
- Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
- Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum
- May Company department store (now LACMA West)
- Petersen Automotive Museum
Films Shot in Johnie's Coffee Shop in Miracle Mile
- American History X
- The Big Lebowski
- Miracle Mile
- Reservoir Dogs
Real Estate Facts
- Population: 254,592
- Overall school district performance: 789 (close to meeting the statewide target of 800)
- Crime index (measures violent crime reported - lower number is better): 27, approximately 50% higher than the LA County average
Facts pulled from: LA Life: Miracle Mile North