Friday, June 4, 2010

Public Staircase Destroyed in 1987

Photo: Clarence Inman Collection, circa 1987. Public staircase from Riverside Drive to the Monte Sano Red Car Trolley stop. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Since we're looking at public staircases in anticipation of The Big Parade II, it's a good time to mourn the loss of another public staircase. Today, the River Glen Apartments sit where this public staircase led from Riverside Drive, up to the Monte Sano Red Car Trolley stop.

The Red Car Trolley tracks were removed shortly after the Glendale Line was decommissioned in 1955. The viaduct crossing Riverside Drive, en route to the LA River, was removed in 1959.

For many years, a portion of the site remained flattish with a gradual grade change from the higher elevation at Fletcher. The site was used much like the Red Car Property is today, as a trail, until 1987, when grading began for the River Glen Apartments.

Until recently, the property was a political no-man's land.

Convicted slumlord, Sam Menlo bought the site in 1992 and proceeded to neglect it for many, many years. Now he wants to build 120 condos on the vacant portion of the property. Another appeal of approvals related to the 120 condos is being heard by the East Los Angles Planning Commission, June 9, 2010.

The Big Parade II is a 2-day, 100+ public staircase hike on June 12 & 13, 2010: