It might be hard to believe that one of the most well-known and well-traveled streets in Los Angeles had its origins in a barley field, but in fact, this was the inauspicious beginning of Wilshire Boulevard. In the 1890s, Ohio-transplant Henry Gaylord Wilshire cleared out the path in his field that would later grow to become one of the most famous stretches of roadway in America. The Gaylord, a historic apartment building bearing his middle name, sits directly across from the Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire.
Today, Wilshire Boulevard is a major thoroughfare, stretching nearly 16 miles from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica to the west, passing through Beverly Hills along the way. One notable stretch is known as the Miracle Mile, where classic art deco buildings line both sides of the four-lane boulevard alongside the city’s most famous museums on the portion of Wilshire known as Museum Row.
Several significant landmarks can be found along Wilshire Boulevard in the Beverly Hills area, including the Beverly Wilshire and Beverly Hills Hilton hotels, and major department stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Barneys New York. This densely-packed commercial area is also a prime location for banking, where residents can find branches of most major banks.