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The woodpecker

The woodpecker

Mar. 8, 1964: As Manuel Perez takes a swing with old-fashion sledge, the new “woodpecker” slams down to break concrete on the old Maple Ave. trestle railroad ramp behind the Pacific Electric building at 6th and Main Sts.

A non-byline Los Angeles Times story on Mar. 9 reported:

A woodpecker started its rat ta-tat-tat downtown at dawn Sunday, and a giant steel railroad trestle thundered to the ground.

The mechanized “bird” is a new invention that can strike a 7.5 ton force for demolition of superstructures.

This one Sunday really “used its head.” Manned by C. O. Cox of Cleveland Wrecking Co., it helped to tear down one of Los Angeles’ oldest landmarks, the Pacific Electric railroad ramp behind the railroad building at Sixth and Main Sts.

Its target was a section of the ramp, built in 1912, that crossed Maple Ave. from Sixth to Seventh St. And by 5 p.m., the woodpecker, aided by other demolition devices, had done the job.

The trestle was removed to make room for a new Greyhound Bus Terminal being built on the site.

These photos by retired Los Angeles Times staff photographer Art Rogers were part of a four-image layout published on Mar. 9, 1964.

Mar. 9, 1964: Rubble piles up below the Maple Avenue trestle during demolition work. Credit: Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times

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