Experience the Port of Los Angeles historical tour on your MP3 or CD Player

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — September 10, 2009 — Time machine not required for a voyage to the past at the Port of Los Angeles. Grab the car keys; we’ve plotted a course for an adventure into history with the Steppin’ Back in Time Self-Guided Audio Tour.

Day-travelers will experience a nostalgic drive as the Port’s history comes alive complete with period music, stories and a narrated overview about the Harbor area’s rich past.  The audio tour connects six cherished historical sites in San Pedro and Wilmington: the Banning Residence Museum; Drum Barracks Civil War Museum; Fort MacArthur Military Museum; Korean Bell and Friendship Pavilion; the Los Angeles Maritime Museum; and the Point Fermin Lighthouse. The sites on the tour are consistent with current LAUSD Elementary School curriculum so bring your children.

“I encourage residents and tourists to get the audio tour, then spend some time in and around the Port of Los Angeles,” said Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “You’ll witness a vibrant and diverse history unfold from its beginning the late 1800s to the nation’s busiest harbor today.”

From the Victorian Age and the Civil War to World War II and San Pedro’s fishing heritage, the self-guided audio tour provides an experience of days gone by like nothing else can. The recording is about 30 minutes but the actual tour length is up to you. Enjoy each site at your own pace.

Time travel is easier than you think! Download the audio file to your multimedia player from the Port of Los Angeles website located at www.portoflosangeles.org. It takes about 45 MB and approximately 5 minutes to download with a high speed internet connection. Dial up connections may take a little longer. The self-guided audio tour is also available on a CD at participating museums located along the tour route.  Once the download is complete or CD acquired you’re ready to head off into history.

While this audio covers the six sites on the original tour during the Port’s Centennial in 2007, there are many more historical locations in San Pedro and Wilmington. Those sites will be considered for future audio recordings.

Historical audio tour route:

The tour starts at the Banning Residence Museum located at 401 East “M” Street in Wilmington. Banning Residence visitors will see firsthand how the Banning family lived in gracious American comfort. 

Then head south to the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum located at 1052 Banning Boulevard in Wilmington. Visitors to the Drum Barracks will tour the only Civil War-era U.S. Army building/landmark still standing in California.

Next stop, the Los Angeles Maritime Museum located at the foot of 6th Street and Harbor Boulevard; visitors will see the largest nautical museum in California featuring more than 700 ships and boat models, navigational equipment, exhibits and maritime artifacts.

From the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, the tour heads to Fort MacArthur Military Museum at the Battery Osgood-Farley Historical Site located at 3601 S. Gaffey Street in San Pedro. Fort MacArthur guests will be guided through the corridors and galleries within the Battery to view photos, drawings, exhibits and artifacts of Fort MacArthur and Los Angeles Harbor Defenses from 1920 through World War II. 

After visiting Fort MacArthur, sightseers can stop to view the Korean Bell and Friendship Pavilion, a massive, intricately decorated bell and pavilion donated in 1976 to the people of Los Angeles from the people of the Republic of Korea in celebration of the U.S. Bicentennial. The site honors Veterans of the Korean War and  fosters friendship between the two countries.

The final stop will be the Point Fermin Lighthouse located at 807 Paseo Del Mar in San Pedro.  Point Fermin Lighthouse is one of San Pedro’s most recognized landmarks. This graceful Victorian-style building is surrounded by vibrant plants and multi-colored flowers. Point Fermin Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the West Coast and served as an aid in navigating vessels between the Channel Islands and Los Angeles Harbor for nearly 100 years.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves.  As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.