The park is coming together! Here’s a sneak peek of spring blooms soldiering on despite daily construction and heavy equipment that still surrounds. look closely and you’ll see our Welcome Center hiding behind a vibrant coral tree and one of our new park benches next to a western red bud. The promenade at the park’s southern end looking towards downtown and the new Blossom Plaza is almost complete.
Please join Fallen Fruit this Saturday, March 19th, at the Los Angeles State Historic Park Viaduct and help create an urban fruit in the community surrounding LASHP. Fallen Fruit is an art collaborative originally conceived in 2004 that began by mapping fruit trees on or over public property in Los Angeles. Since then Austin Young and David Burns have continued this collaborative work and taken the project one step beyond to include the installation of fruit trees in public spaces in cities through out the country. Los Angeles State Historic Park is excited to become a part of this “Endless Orchard” with a trailhead located in our very own citrus grove and pointing the way to our community’s own urban fruit trail. If you own property near LASHP and have room to place a fruit tree in a publicly accessible space, please visit on Saturday to adopt a tree for free! We will be in the Viaduct, underneath the Historic North Broadway Bridge, between 10 am and 2 pm for the adoption and planting, 1799 Baker Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
After nearly two years of construction, Los Angeles State Historic Park is finally starting to look like a park again. Admittedly, our construction updates have been few and far between. Making a compelling photo out of various configurations of dirt and trenching turns out to be difficult.Unfortunately, too, weekly Inspector Field Reports are pretty dry and hard to translate into definitive milestones.
But finally, we have completed buildings, our new Ranger Station and Welcome Pavilion, and actual trees in the ground. We still have a ways to go, but the finish line is in site, and we expect to be open to the public later this year. For now, here’s a sneak peek of what’s happening inside the green fence.
Unfortunately due to some technical glitches, our LASHP blog appears to have been languishing for months since our last update. We’ve finally got issues with our site sorted out, and plan to keep up to date on track from here on out. For now, here is a shot taken in the park a few weeks ago. Residual storm clouds make a nice backdrop for the new Roundhouse Bridge and Overlook which will be a central feature of the new park.
Happily, after clearing some construction hurdles and delays due to nesting birds and archaeological finds, construction has picked up steam in recent days. We are on track to have the park finished in January and look forward to an official grand opening in spring of 2016. Stay tuned, we’ll be posting more photos as the Welcome Center and Ranger Station near completion and the park takes on its final form.
While park construction forges ahead, state archaeologists are on-site monitoring all this activity and keeping eyes peeled for any new artifacts or structures that might surface. The photo above shows the site of a trash pit discovered early on during construction and located near the footprint of the old Pacific Hotel. Artifacts gathered from the pit include pieces of dishware, ink bottles, and oil lamps. Heavy equipment and grading in this area were halted long enough for archaeologists to survey the site and gather artifacts. They date most of these recent finds to the late 1800’s, concurrent with the Los Angeles River Station – the first passenger depot in Los Angeles and the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Though most of the major site grading is complete, archaeologists will remain on-site throughout construction. Next up should be the frames of our new welcome center and ranger station. Check back for photos and an update on the bridge construction already visible in the center of the park.
The Interpretive Media Laboratory at Los Angeles Historic Site (UCLA –IMLab) has unveiled its mobile website (http://lashp-trails.org) along with an interactive sculptural trailhead located below the historic Broadway Bridge on Baker Street. The goal of the mobile website is to engage users in participatory exploration of the community surrounding LASHP via their smartphones. The trailhead, known as “Wellspring” is a sculpture created by local artists Michael Parker and Troy Rounseville using all recycled material from Los Angeles State Historic Park and referencing the “Zanja Madre” or mother ditch, which brought water from the Los Angeles River to El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the birthplace of modern Los Angeles. The mobile website can only be activate from this location and guides users to discovery spots with historical information and pictures, and also suggests creative opportunities exercise along the curated routes.
A compass/ arrow navigation tool points its users to hot spots along the three curated routes. The Park Rim Trail is 3 ½ miles, El Pueblo/ Chinatown is 4.5 miles Trail, and for the more adventurous there is the 6.5 mile Trail which loops through Elysian Park. During the demonstration walk, the crowd explored 3 Hotspots showing information about the Buena Vista Viaduct (Historical North Broadway Bridge), The LA River Station, and the Flat Iron/ Ice House building which was instrumental in the agricultural boom of California. The goal of LASHP-Trails is not only to promote physical activity, but to engage individuals with their city’s history and prompt consideration of this city’s future. Ultimately, the goal is for the public to tell their own stories about Urban Los Angeles and help establish a network of interconnected urban trails. UCLA and State Parks see the mobile website evolving to become a community authoring system. This would allow individuals to add their own stories and histories related to place and curate their own trails tailored to specific interests.
The Campout and evening programming are full. Please stay posted for information on future events and the next Campout in Spring 2015. Thanks everyone for supporting State Parks and the Bowtie Project.
For further information please contact:
Luis Rincon, CA State Parks Interpretive Specialist: Luis.Rincon@parks.ca.gov