Saturday, May 31, 2014

Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract: The Big Parade Will Walk Through Today

Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2011. It doesn't look like this anymore. (Click on photos to enlarge.)  

The Big Parade will walk through what was once one of the most beautiful hillsides of Elysian Heights.  It's hard to believe it was only 2011 when it still lived up to its name, "Semi Tropic Spiritualists' Tract."  Now it's more like "Orange County Office Park."

The preeminent 20th Century wood-cut print artist, Paul Landacre was inspired by the beauty of the landscape of the hillside, creating art in his 40 years of living and working on his (now neglected historic cultural landmark cabin & grounds on the hill.  
Photo: Diane Edwardson, 2013.  What was once 4 acres of mostly native trees below Landacre's modest home, a natural habitat for wildlife, is now a sterile, controversial, eyeball searingly bright white series of stucco boxes on an unnaturally graded slope.  

The developer did see the light of day when potential buyers said what do you mean there's an acre of open space that we pay to maintain above our house and we can't walk to it?  So as an afterthought, they built a publicly accessible staircase that is extremely steep out of railroad ties.

The Big Parade, the ultimate urban hike, will walk down the Artis quasi-public staircase today.  Follow their progress on Twitter.