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1951 Chavez Ravine protest

1951 Chavez Ravine protest

April 26, 1951: About 400 property owners crowded into a Los Angeles City Planning Commission meeting to protest against a proposal to build a $33 million public housing project in Chavez Ravine.

A story in the April 27, 1951, Los Angeles Times reported:

Between 400 and 500 persons yesterday crowded into a hearing of the City Planning Commission, most of them to register protests against City Housing Authority plans to build a $33 million low-rent public housing project of 3,360 units in Chavez Ravine.

The Housing Authority is asking for a permit from the Planning Commission to allow the land to be used for the project.  Robert W. Harper, commission president, said a decision will be given next week. …

Stanley Furman, development counsel for the Housing Authority, said there are 972 dwellings on the 254-acre site and a survey shows that 87% of the structures have one or more basic deficiencies involving major structural deterioration of lack of sanitary facilities.

He said all the buildings in the area would have to be razed because rehabilitation would be too costly. Plans call for one- and two-story houses and some 13-story apartment buildings with an average monthly rental of $31.50, which includes costs of utilities. …

The housing project was approved, homeowners were bought out and homes razed or relocated. But within a couple years the Elysian Park Heights housing project was stopped, and the city of Los Angeles took over the largely empty land.

In 1958, the land was transferred to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a new baseball stadium.

As reported in this previous From the Archive post, Chavez Ravine evictions, the remaining residents were then removed for construction of Dodger Stadium.

Aug. 20, 1951: Angry housewives: Mrs. Agnes Cerda, left, and Mrs. Angie Villa, two of the leaders of Chavez Ravine’s fight against eviction by the Elysian Park Heights housing plan. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA

April 1951: Chavez Ravine, looking down Bishops Road, before removal of homes and 1,800 families to make way for the Elysian Park Heights housing project. This photo was published in the April 20, 1951, Los Angeles Times. The housing project was later cancelled and the land used for Dodger Stadium. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA

Jan. 9, 1952: House on hillside of Chavez Ravine is jacked up waiting for movers to haul it away. Credit: Gene Hacklay/Los Angeles Mirror.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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2 Comments

  1. June 1, 2015, 6:47 am

    I was 10 yrs old at the time, and a new resident of Lynwood from L.A. My parents were mildly interested in baseball and the excitement of the Brooklyn team being in L.A. However, they were a neighbor caring team also, and said much about people being forced to leave their homes, photos of some being carried out to the street, and homes boarded. It was an unclear time for many who lost the homesites they loved and their families grew in. My parents and their Church members wrote many letters to the L.A. City Council, with no return acknowledgment. They never again attended a public baseball game both in protest and disgust.
    However, I grew older and attended many a game. I took most of my children there, and a son later and I lived at the L.A. Dodgers Stadium on weekends. Then, being associated with the Police Academy, across the road, I frequently visited the Stadium.

    By: lapd11331
  2. June 1, 2015, 2:17 pm

    Its all history…After all that none of us can even watch free Dodger / Giant games on TV, and 70% can't watch it on cable.

    By: d.phaneuf@att.net

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