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Leonard Nadel photographs and other material relating to housing and urban redevelopment in Los Angeles, 1947-1998 (bulk 1947-1957)

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Nadel (Leonard) Photographs and other material relating to housing and urban redevelopment in Los Angeles
Series II. Unpublished books, 1947-1994, undated 5.25 Linear Feet (7 boxes)
Series II.A. Pueblo del Rio, 1947-1948 2 Linear Feet
Leonard Nadel photographs of Pueblo del Rio, 1947-1948

The subseries comprises Nadel's unpublished book, "Pueblo del Rio: The Study of a Planned Community," and additional photographic material related to the project. Nadel began documenting Pueblo del Rio while a student at the Art Center College of Design. In the late 1940s, he showed some of the photographs to Frank Wilkinson, who encouraged him to continue his documentation, and later hired him as a photographer for HACLA.
Originally built between 1941 and 1942 to house Black defense industry workers and enlisted military personel and their families during a nationwide housing shortage, Pueblo del Rio is located at 52nd Street and Long Beach Avenue in South Central Los Angeles in one of the city's older residential areas. Existing substandard housing on the 17.5 acre site was razed to build the garden city-style complex of 57 two-story apartment buildings (400 apartments) and a single-story administration building. Some of Nadel's views of the complex are taken from the vantage point of the deteriorated doorways of the older housing still exant across the street from the site. Due to wartime restrictions and material shortages, Pueblo del Rio was built soley out of brick masonry and reinforced concrete.
The mid-century modernist project was designed by the Southeast Housing Architects, which included Richard Neutra, Gordon Kaufman, Adrian Wilson, and the firm of Wurdeman & Becket. The chief architect on the project was Paul R. Williams, the first Black architect certified west of the Mississippi, who was known as the "architect to the stars" for the numerous private residences he designed for the Hollywood elite.
Some of the families currently living in Pueblo Del Rio have been there more than three generations. In 1954, 270 additional apartments were built on an adjoining 16.6 acre site. For three decades the complexes flourished, yet, when the nearby factories shut down in the 1970s many of Pueblo del Rio's residents spiralled into poverty and the project's demographics began to shift. In the 1990s, Latinos began moving into the housing complex. Today, Pueblo Del Rio is a mixed community comprising Black, Latino, and Cambodian families.
File titles are loosley derived from Nadel's notes jotted on the manilla or glassine envelopes containing the negatives and contact prints. Consequently, some titles may include language now considered to be outdated or biased.
Arrangement
Materials are arranged thematically, and include views of the project, and of community life such as activities and organizations within the project, schools, and named residents in a variety of activities and settings. The last part of the subseries comprises the book matter, including selected images, text, and the maquette.
Views, 1947-circa 1948
box folder
5 14 Aerial view, circa 1948 2 items (1 negative, 1 envelope)
Note reads: Not used [in book?].
5 15 Maps and views, circa 1948 19 items (18 negatives, 1 envelope)
Images of two maps titled "Map showing public housing developments under the managment of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angles" and "Unit and housing numbering map." Also inclued are views of the project; residents; scenes of daily life (areas for hanging laundry, baseball, mail delivery); and of a sign bearing the legend: 1200 children living here please drive carefully. On envelope: Housing project.
5 16 Unit and house numbering map, circa 1948 3 items (2 negatives, 1 envelope)
On envelope: Unit map.
5 17 View from across the railroad tracks, circa 1948 7 items (5 negatives, 1 envelope, 1 note card)
Also includes images of nearby (?) housing after a fire. On envelope: Pueblo and fired shack. RR & children sign.
5 18 Exterior views of Pueblo del Rio, circa 1948 6 items (3 negatives, 1 envelopes, 2 note cards)
Also includes one image of a Black man in a office doing accounts. On envelope: Pueblo del Rio - (good sky and clouds).
5 19 Negro housing, circa 1948 5 items (3 negatives, 1 envelope, 1 note card)
Also includes an image of the porch of an old house with a rocking chair and flowers in a tin can.
Various subjects, circa 1948
box folder
5 20 Staff and office, circa 1948 8 items (7 negatives, 1 envelope)
Note reads: Not used [in book?].
5 21 Maintenance staff, circa 1948 5 items (4 negatives, 1 envelope)
Maintenance staff standing in front of Pueblo del Rio administration building. Note reads: Not used [in book?].
5 22 1200 children sign, circa 1948 4 items (3 negatives, 1 envelope)
Images of signs bearing the legend: 1200 children living here. Please drive carefully. Note reads: Not used [in book?].
5 23 Negro clinic, circa 1948 10 items (9 negatives, 1 envelope)
People at clinic. Note reads: Not used [in book?].
5 24 Negros outside church, circa 1948 4 items (3 negatives, 1 envelope)
Includes a little girl dressed in her "Sunday best."
5 25 Negro interiors, circa 1948 10 items (7 negatives, 1 envelope, 2 note cards)
Some images include inhabitants engaged in various activities.
5 26 Interior of bedroom, kitchen, circa 1948 7 items (3 negatives, 4 envelopes)
Kitchen, dining room, bedroom, and bathroom.
5 27 Resident Council, circa 1948 3 items (2 negatives, 1 envelope)
Resident Council meeting.
5 28 Ballet, ping pong, Murray's girl, circa 1948 4 items (3 negatives, 1 envelope)
5 29 Jamis, circa 1948 2 items (1 negative, 1 envelope)
Environmental portrait of a young Black girl with her face leaning on her hand.
5 30 Talent nite, circa 1948 10 items (9 negatives, 1 envelope)
Performers and audience.
5 31 Nursery, portrait of Mrs. Terry, circa 1948 13 items (11 negatives, 1 envelope, 2 note cards)
Children in nursery classroom and playing or grouped outside. Includes an exterior view of the Pueblo del Rio administration building, and an environmetal portrait of Mrs. Terry, a Black woman (teacher?).
box folder
6 1 Negro nursery children, circa 1948 12 items (11 negatives, 1 envelope)
6 2 Negro nursery, circa 1948 7 items (6 negatives, 1 envelope)
Children sitting on exterior steps; in playground; exteriors of buildings; sprinklers going near playground.
6 3 Mrs. Terry, circa 1948 18 items (17 negatives, 1 envelope)
Portraits of Mrs. Terry in her office and environmental portraits, including with a young girl (student?).
Samuel family, circa 1948
Thomas and Bessie Samuels, a Black couple with three girls and two boys.
box folder
6 4 Bessie Samuel's kitchen and family, circa 1948 2 items (1 negative, 1 envelope)
6 5 Happy family, circa 1948 9 items (8 negatives, 1 envelope)
Samuels family in their living room; a baseball game; children with police officer. Note reads: Not used [in book?].
Book matter, circa 1948
Images, circa 1948
box folder
6 6 Group 1, circa 1948 51 items (25 negatives, 26 envelopes)
Group labeled "1" on maniala envelope. Aerial views of downtown Los Angeles; views of downtown substandard housing; views of Pueblo del Rio; 2203 Hunter Street.
6 7 Group 2, circa 1948 63 items (31 negatives, 32 envelopes)
Group labeled "2" on manila envelope. Views of Pueblo del Rio; office workers; grounds workers; interiors of apartment; Samuels family around table; nursery school; resident meetings; health clinic.
6 8 Group 3, circa 1948 25 items (12 negatives, 13 envelopes)
Group labeled "3" on manila envelope. Health clinic; congregation in church; meetings; recreation.
6 9 Text, circa 1948 42 items (41 negatives, 1 envelope)
Photographs of pages of texts, captions, and page numbers for the book.
box folder
11 1 "Pueblo del Rio: The Study of a Planned Community", circa 1948 1 volume
Bound volume of 100 pages containing a photographic essay on the Pueblo del Rio housing project, illustrated with 76 gelatin silver photographs.


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