Guest Blog Post: Angels Flight, Best Fun for $1 in L.A. by R. Barden

Given how I plan to soon publish novels of my own, (“Flamenco & the Sitting Cat will be my debut one) the definition of heaven for me is anything to do with books! Blogger/writer Rosalind Barden’s guest blog post about Angels Flight — well, that’s heaven + books!…

Photo of Angels Flight – Photo credit: http://www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/23044083 and https://angelsflight.org

“Angels Flight: Best Fun for a Buck in Los Angeles!” by Rosalind Barden

A character in my humorous noir mystery, “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case,” set in Depression-era Downtown Los Angeles, isn’t a person at all, but a funky funicular railway, Angels Flight.

Over a hundred years old, the funicular’s two cars chug from the top of Bunker Hill to the Downtown flatlands. It still exists thanks to the funicular’s fans who campaigned to save it from the wrecking ball in the 1960s when historic Bunker Hill was leveled. It was disassembled and packed away for decades, then pieced together in the 1990s on the reconfigured Bunker Hill, a half block from its original location. Sadly, a fatal accident shuttered the funicular again. The fans never left, and owing to their love, time and money, Angels Flight reopened in 2017.

Billed as the world’s shortest railway, it actually isn’t, though it is plenty short. The delight begins when boarding at the arch at the bottom of Bunker Hill, across from historic Grand Central Market at Fourth and Hill Streets, or at the matching station and wheelhouse at the top of Bunker Hill. The two orange and black cars are a delight of Beaux Arts design from an earlier, more exuberant time. The gleaming wooden interiors are each shaped like a staircase to conform to the slant of the hill. Riders sit in benches along either side.

The bell dings, and the car creaks to life. Then it merrily clanks along the track. Half the fun is listening to the reactions of fellow passengers as they oh and ah, or watching those silently smiling, lost in thought. The pace is slow, allowing time to detach from Downtown’s bustle and relax. For only a dollar, it’s a ride guaranteed to lift the mood.

Photo of Rosalind Barden by Diane Edmonds.

About Rosalind Barden: In addition to blogging, she writes mystery, sci-fi and horror with a sense of humor. “Sparky of Bunker Hill and the Cold Kid Case” is her new, wacky noir young adult mystery set in Depression-era Los Angeles.  Find out more about her and her books here.

What’s your favorite historical site where you live?

14 thoughts on “Guest Blog Post: Angels Flight, Best Fun for $1 in L.A. by R. Barden

  1. Rosalind Barden has touched my lore and history nerve with excitement. Thanks for a wonderful description of Angel’s Flight, Bunker Hill’s unique contribution to LA ambiance.

    And thank you, Daal, for featuring Rosalind.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a native Angelena, I knew Angel’s Flight very well. I knew it back when it was actually necessary, when they stopped it as being dangerous, and when they repaired and renewed it as entertainment for those seeking “elder” quieter days. There are so many things that made Los Angeles, well, Los Angeles. I understand, out of sheer necessity, they are attempting to bring back the old “red cars” into the outer regions of the City. Even so, I’ll never return to the city of my birth. It’s too crowded now. But I do appreciate articles like this one to remind me that Los Angeles once was and, for some, still is a wondrous city. Thank you for posting it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So glad the post brings back good memories! True, Los Angeles has changed a lot, but I’m so glad the Angeles Flight survived. It’s still the best way to get from the top of Bunker Hill to the Grand Central Market, a popular lunch stop for Bunker Hill office workers. I’m happy you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 2 people

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