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Preserving Olvera Street

April 18, 1990

Acuna claims that the draft request for proposals now being considered by the Board of Recreation and Parks seeks to impose a "Mexican-less vision of Olvera Street." He describes the message as being "In the case of Olvera Street: No Mexicans Wanted." But here is the actual wording of the draft request for proposals:

"The City intends that commerce and rehabilitation recreate a distinct romantic Mexican marketplace atmosphere . . . on Olvera Street proper. An important objective shall be the maintenance, preservation and enhancement of Olvera Street as a viable example of the unique Mexican cultural heritage of Los Angeles as exemplified by its Mexican businesses."

How much clearer does it need to be?

Contrary to Acuna's accusations, preservationists have consistently advocated maintaining the Mexican marketplace on Olvera Street as part of El Pueblo's rich cultural traditions. It is true that the General Plan adopted by the state in 1981 after extensive public hearings specified that educational activities at El Pueblo should also recognize the importance of the Plaza area to the history of other ethnic groups (including Chinese, blacks, French and Italians)--but the plans for exhibits on those groups are proposed for other parts of the monument, not on Olvera Street.

JAY ROUNDS

Executive Director

Los Angeles Conservancy

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