A Virtual Tour of Downtown Los Angeles’ Historic Indian Alley in 360° Panorama

View on Google Street View

Way back in the day and way before the street address 118 Winston Street became the art gallery and a yoga studio it’s known for today, it was the meeting place of the secret society known as Catholic Knights of America (St. Joseph Branch # 397) according to Newmans’s Directory and Guide of Los Angeles and Vicinity: A Handbook for Strangers and Residents published in 1903.  The guide indicates that meetings were held on the first Sunday of the month but alas, the guide does not reveal the secret password to get in!

After WWII, it became a mission for alcoholic GI veterans returning from the war. Here’s the kicker: it was managed by a nun by the name of Sister Sylvia Creswell operating under the dba of “Sister Sylvia’s Soul Patrol”. Good Lord, but that’s just so ghettofabkerouacalicious! It sounds like something Whoopi Goldberg starred in.

In the fifties it became a series of labor halls with men living on the top two floors in bunk beds and the ground floor being a kitchen and hiring hall.

Indian Alley as the Western Union set in “The Sting”

By the seventies, scenes of the hit movie “The Sting” were shot on location here. Following its 15 minutes of fame, 118 Winston became the headquarters for the United American Indian Involvement for about two decades before it moved to its current location in Los Angeles.

Established in 1974, the UAII is a non-profit social services agency that has helped thousands of Native Americans on Skid Row battle alcohol and drug abuse. During their two decades at this location, all the counselors were Native American and their recovery program combined psychological methods and native spirituality beliefs to assist their clients brothers and sisters rebuild their self-esteem and cultural identity.

Today the alley way at Winston and Werdin Place has become a street-art gallery featuring an amazing constellation of artists.  This virtual tour opens with the first pieces to be seen as you pass the gates and continues mid-way down the alley. I’ve outlined descriptions of the works below to help you identify each piece.

The alley in ye olde days.

Panoramic #1:

  • “Decolonize and Keep Calm” by Jaque Fragua (Honor The Treaties)
  • “We Are Still Here” by Shepard Fairey, Aaron Huey, and Wild Life (Honor The Treaties)
  • Wolf by Becca Midwood
  • Indian head by Wild Life
Panoramic #2:
    Ground level:

Upper level:

  • Robert Sundance portrait “Teach Peace” by Teacher
  • Toypurina portrait by Bandit
Panoramic #3:
Panoramic #4:
  • Chief Plenty Coups portrait by VOTAN
Panoramic #5:
  • “Sun Portal” by MYMO
Panoramic #6:
Special Thanks:

New Mural in DTLA by Fin DAC and Angelina Christina entitled “Upon Reflection”

There’s a new mural in Los Angeles — an ab-fab-collab by Fin DAC and Angelina Christina and let me tell you: it’s absolutely stunning!  It’s entitled “Upon Reflection” and you can see it for yourself near the corner of Winston and Los Angeles in Downtown Los Angeles. Check it out on Google Street View here.

360° Panorama of “Touch of Venice” Mural in Venice Beach

Jonas Never’s “Touch of Venice” mural on Windward Avenue pays homage to the opening sequence of the 1958 film noir classic “Touch of Evil” directed by Orson Wells. Visit on Google Maps Street View.

The famous scene was actually shot on location along Windward and Pacific avenues although the scene as it was written is supposed to be a Mexican border town instead of a sunny SoCal beach one.

The mural features Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh, shown in the mural’s foreground with Welles visible in the lower right side and a self-portrait of Never himself on the right side as well.

It measures 150′ x 50′ and is located on the east side of the Venice Beach Hotel, 21 Windward Avenue, Los Angeles, CA.