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History Is Obliterated When L.A. Redevelops

July 19, 2002

The ongoing destruction of historic neighborhoods to make way for unused plazas is one of the saddest chapters of L.A. history ("One Man's Urgent Struggle to Keep L.A. From Demolishing Its Past," July 15). Our civic history has been so glossed over that few people realize the extent of what's been lost. For example, history books usually state that Old Chinatown was obliterated when Union Station was built in the 1930s. This is mostly true, yet there was still a significant remnant of Old Chinatown tucked between the east side of the Old Plaza and Union Station until the 1950s.

This included the historic Lugo Adobe, which made the Old Plaza a real plaza that was enclosed on all four sides. It also included Ferguson Alley, which ran between the plaza and Union Station and featured a large Buddhist temple. It was one of the oldest streets in the city. Now all of that is gone, replaced in part by a small park that goes unused except for the occasional derelict.

Jim van Scoyoc

Los Angeles

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