Friday, June 5, 2009

1940: Riverside & Allesandro

Photo: Los Angeles City Planning, 1940, California Historical Society via USC Digital Library. Future site of the 2 & 5 Freeways in Silver Lake, Echo Park and Elysian Valley. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

How different the neighborhood looks without the freeways. The hillside in the foreground is the Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract. The open area below the Landacre Cabin is the recently subdivided lots. The swath of trees between Allesandro and Corralitas Drive is now the 2 Freeway. It appears Rosebud was moved a few hundred feet closer to the Corralitas Public Staircase when the 2 Freeway was built.

Interestingly, there's a small street that forks to the left off Allesandro, before reaching Riverside Drive. I had never seen this street in earlier photos or maps. It was taken for the 2 Freeway.

Note in the upper left corner, the Red Car Trolley tracks are on a considerably higher grade above the adjacent homes on India, below. Today the grade change is more gradual from India to the Red Car Property. Significant amounts of earth were removed from the Red Car Property to grade for the adjacent freeways.

The 5 Freeway runs approximately where the street names were placed on the photo above, in Elysian Valley (the neighborhood between Riverside Drive and the LA River). In 1940, it appears there were more residential properties at the streets ends, at the LA River. Today, almost all the street ends in Elysian Valley have big industrial properties.

According to Jim Lawrence, who lived on Riverside Place for 80 years, many homes in the neighborhood around Allesandro Elementary School were moved from Elysian Valley prior to freeway construction.

Next week, CalTrans will reveal plans for the 2 Freeway Terminus Redesign at two community meetings and a public hearing.