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Exploring with James

A ½ Mile Long Mural in Los Angeles

Published 2014-01-24 · By James Bursa

In December I had the chance to visit Los Angeles for the first time. A map I got mentioned the “Great Wall of Los Angeles”, which I’d never heard of before. One day we were nearby so went to see it.

The Great Wall is a ½ mile long mural illustrating California’s history. It’s in the San Fernando Valley, which is in the north of the city.

Here’s the south end of the mural. It’s painted along a drainage channel that is apparently dry most of the time.

Great Wall of Los Angeles, south end

There’s a path opposite the mural and you can see it through the fence. On this side is a street and then houses.

Path along the Great Wall of Los Angeles

Here’s some detail showing California’s citrus industry. On the other side of the channel is L.A. Valley College.

Great Wall of Los Angeles, Citrus Industry

The later parts of the mural are split by decade. This one shows the 1940s – notice images showing WW2.

Great Wall of Los Angeles, 1940s

This panorama shows the 1950s section. The figure towards the left is Senator McMarthy.

Great Wall of Los Angeles, 1950s

The mural currently ends with the 1950s. That section was painted in 1983, so it seems that production has finished, although the mural was restored recently.

Great Wall of Los Angeles, north end

The Great Wall website has much more information on this mural, and explains many of the figures.

Look at my Los Angeles set on Flickr for more photos from my visit, or click on any of the photos in the article for a larger view.