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Has the Recession Made for a Better Downtown?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, August 07, 2010, at 08:22PM
Spring Street Views Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Looking north on Spring Street from 6th, a stretch that L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne is calls particularly vital.

Has the recession created a better Downtown than we would have seen had the bottom not fallen out of the economic markets over the past few years?

That's the argument that L.A. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne makes today, saying that the broader economic woes have left Downtown in "a particularly appealing spot."

Hawthorne gives the recession credit for stalling the typical cycle of a revitalizing neighborhood before it could get to the Banana Republic and the Cheesecake Factory. He praises the unique neighborhoods and uniqueness that has popped up instead.

The story ties in with another by fashion editor Booth Moore, who praises the fashion scene and boutiques that have popped up in the last eight years. "If you are a creative person living in L.A. right now, downtown is the place to be," she writes.

So would that have been different if the economy had stayed hot? Would the Historic Core have gone to the chains instead? Are we really better off for having spent a couple years struggling?

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