Nathan Masters

LA's past offers up fascinating stories—if you know where to look. As a writer and as host/producer of LOST LA, I’m on a quest to find the best ones and share them with the world.


Lost LA

I host and produce LOST LA, an Emmy Award-winning public television series now entering its third season on KCET. A co-production with the USC Libraries, the show explores how rare artifacts from Southern California's archives can unlock the hidden and often-surprising stories from the region's past.


For much of the past decade I've written about Los Angeles history with an eye to explaining the evolution of the city's natural and built environments. Why are there so many palm trees? Is L.A. really a desert? And who ever thought freeways were a good idea?

More recently, I've shifted my focus to character-driven narratives in a variety of forms. Current projects include several longform articles, a scripted television pilot, and a nonfiction book about the scheming personalities who thrived during L.A.'s formative real estate boom of 1886-88.


Selected Bylines

Los Angeles Magazine
80+ print and online bylines

Los Angeles Times
A review of Henry Petroski’s The Road Taken

An essay in its Los Angeles travel guide

Author of the now-defunct Southland subdomain
260+ illustrated essays about Los Angeles history

Boat Magazine
A feature story on how L.A. became a city of palm trees

The Public Historian
A report on the annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar