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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 I. Projects related to housing and urban redevelopment, 1947-1998, undated 3 Linear Feet (6 boxes)
Series I.B. Community Redevelopment Agency, 1948-1998, undated 1 Linear Feet
Leonard Nadel photographs of Community Redevelopment Agency projects, 1948-1998

Created in 1948, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA) was dedicated to revitalizing, refurbishing, and renewing economically depressed areas of the city. Its formation was a direct result of the California Redevelopment Law of 1945, which was supported by a coalition of two groups with opposing desires - advocates seeking downtown housing for low-income residents and business and real estate interests promoting downtown commercial rejuvenation. Although Los Angeles business community for the most part opposed the bill - the impact of urban decay on commerce and industry, rather than the living conditions of the poor was their main concern - the law did pass, and its required Planning Department study confirmed the need for a redevelopment agency in Los Angeles. One of the CRA's first activities was then to turn around and lobby for a change in the Community Redevelopment Law that would separate redevelopment from public housing programs. In 1950, the passage of an amendment to the law did just that, enabling the CRA to focus on business redevelopment rather than public housing for downtown "blighted" and slum areas. AThe CRA existed s an independent agency until 2011.
The subseries contains Nadel's photographic documentation of several areas of Los Angeles that the CRA targeted for commercial revitalization in the 1940s and 1950s, such as Bunker Hill; the Temple Street area; Ann Street; and the Alameda Street area. Nadel made meticulous photographic surveys, sometimes block by block, of the slums and historic areas targeted for demolition and redevelopment. Documentation of the Bunker Hill Renewal Project is particularly extensive. Also included is documentation of an Urban Redevelopment Commission tour. In addition to black-and-white negatives and contact prints, materials also include Nadel's original, annotated negative envelopes and handwritten notes.
Materials are arranged primarily by geographical area. Nadel's original grouping of material within each envelope is retained. The envelopes often contain a mixture of subjects and projects, and each group is therefore classified according to the preponderance of the visual materials contained within it. However, the notes on these envelopes and the accompanying note cards do not always reflect the subject matter of the negatives and prints contained in them.
Urban Redevelopment Commission, 1949-1955
box folder
2 27 Tour, 1949 April 26, 59 items (28 negatives, 29 contact prints, 2 envelopes)
Participants included Brock, Sasesman [?], Rhea, and Holtzendorf. Also includes a view of the Cole Hotel.
2 28 Santa Fe area, 1950 December 28 50 items (23 negatives, 23 contact prints, 3 note cards, 1 envelope)
Houses, backyards, and rooftop views of Damon, Mateo, E. Eighth, Santa Fe, Enterprise, and Hunter streets.
box folder
3 1 Olympic area, 1950 December 29 46 items (21 negatives, 21 contact prints, 3 note cards, 1 envelope)
Houses and alleyways in Wilston, Elwood, Lawrence, and Channing streets.
3 2 Parking lots and the Fourth St. ramp, 1955 August 9 24 items (11 negatives, 12 envelopes, 1 note card)
Bunker Hill Renewal Project, 1951-1956
The 133-acre Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project, conceived as a project to raze the once-stately Victorian neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles and to reinvent it as a business district, was begun by the CRA in 1955. Currently bounded by First St. on the north, Hill St. on the east, Fifth St. on the south, and the Harbor Freeway on the west, Bunker Hill was developed as an upscale residential area beginning in 1867. The steep streets of the hill were initially accessed by horse-drawn carriage service. In 1901, Angels Flight, a two-block funicular railway that ran up and down a two block stretch of the hill, was opened for service.
The Bunker Hill community thrived into the 1920s and 30s when the trolley lines of the Pacific Electric Railway Company increasing began to lure its residents out to the new "street car suburbs" such as Angelino Heights, Highland Park, and West Hollywood. Movement out of the area was furthered by the development of Los Angeles's freeway system which created easy access to the city from Beverly Hills, Pasadena, and other new upscale areas. As the hill's wealthier residents departed, the Queen Anne and Eastlake-style mansions they left behind were subdivided into housing for pensioners and lower income workers arriving from the American Midwest, Europe, and Mexico. With the building of new rooming houses and residence hotels the area became ever more densely crowded. Landlords profited, but did little to maintain their lodgings, and the hillside area further slide into decline as the property owners turned a blind eye to the criminal element among their tenents.
By 1955, in an effort to remove crime and poverty from a neighborhood that had already been long-used as a setting for crime novels and film noir movies, the CRA determined to clear Bunker Hill by ridding the area of the dilapidated buildings that housed its 9,000 residents. For the hill's residents it was a slippery slope. They were displaced without relocation assistance and the land was sold for private and public civic development.
Nadel documented conditions on Bunker Hill for the CRA between 1951 and 1956, capturing its streets, traffic, residents, and interior and exterior housing conditions. In so doing his photographs provided the CRA with the evidence it needed to support the hill's redevelopment. The Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project was adopted by the city on March 31, 1959. It is the longest redevelopment project in Los Angeles history.
Notecards and annotations on the original envelopes contain information on housing conditions, rents charged, and occupancy. There are also frequent observations on the occupants including names, ages, occupations, length of tenancy, and other family matters. Other general topics noted are land use, alleyways, traffic, and street conditions.
box folder
3 3 Bunker Hill scale model (Babcock report), 1951 January 17 12 items (3 negatives, 6 contact prints, 2 note cards, 1 envelope)
Prints and negatives do not match.
3 4 First to Fifth streets, Flower to Hill streets, 1951 March 1 71 items (24 negatives, 23 contact prints, 22 envelopes, 2 note cards)
For CRA study.
3 5 First and Olive to Second and Hill streets area, 1952 April 14 21 items (10 negatives, 10 contact prints, 1 envelope)
3 6 Bunker Hill, First, Second, Olive, and Hill streets area, 1952 June 5 7 items (3 negatives, 3 contact prints, 1 envelope)
3 7 Aerials, 1955 November 15 19 items (18 negatives, 1 envelope)
Includes six negatives of an older white couple on a porch and one negative of an older white man leaning on a porch rail.
3 8 Fremont Ave., Figueroa St., 1955 September 16 41 items (19 negatives, 20 envelopes, 2 note cards)
Also includes First, S. Olive, and Hill streets. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 1-17.
3 9 W. Second and Hope streets, 100 S. Olive St., 1955 September 21 6 items (2 negatives, 1 note card, 3 envelopes)
Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 22-23.
3 10 122 S. Olive St., 1955 September 20 10 items (4 negatives, 5 envelopes, 1 note card)
Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 18-21. Interior images with a woman and two little girls.
3 11 W. Second St. area, 1955 September 21-1955 September 22 55 items (26 negatives, 27 envelopes, 2 note cards)
Also includes views of First, Third, Olive, Figueroa, Flower, and other streets. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 24-44. Images include views of a school and playground at Second and Hope streets; people sitting on park benches in an empty lot; street conditions; and tenements.
3 12 134 Fremont Ave., 1955 September 21-1955 September 22 35 items (17 negatives, 18 envelopes)
Also includes First and Figueroa streets, 131 S. Olive Ct., 719 W. Second St., and 255 S. Bunker Hill. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 45a-53. Images of residents, including children playing in areas behind housing and in empty lots.
3 13 Clay St., 1955 September 27 16 items (7 negatives, 1 note card, 8 envelopes)
Also includes Fourth, Olive, Hill, Second, and Third streets. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 54-60. Images of housing, streets, parking lots, and Angels Flight.
3 14 Figueroa St., 1955 September 29 13 items (6 negatives, 7 envelopes)
Includes 334 S. Figueroa, 350 S. Figueroa, W. Third and S. Figueroa, and 448 S. Bunker Hill. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 61-66.
3 15 209 S. Olive St., 1955 September 29 25 items (11 negatives, 12 envelopes, 2 note cards)
Also includes 345 S. Clay St. and 133 S. Hope St. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 67-77. Interior shots and living conditions, some including the residents.
3 16 Slums, 1955 September 30 22 items (10 negatives, 11 envelopes, 1 note card)
Addresses and streets include 308 S. Flower; 217 S. Grand; 334 S. Figueroa; 135 S. Grand; 820 W. First; 355 S. Bunker Hill; and Clay St. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 78-87a. Mostly interior shots, many with residents.
3 17 Substandard housing, 1955 October 5 24 items (11 negatives, 12 envelopes, 1 note card)
Addresses include 245 S. Bunker Hill; 224 S. Olive; 209 S. Bunker Hill; 316 S. Clay; 416 S. Grand; 218 S. Olive; 416 S. Grand; and 237 S. Flower. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 88-98. Images include residents depicted in their interiors; details of substandard conditions and decay.
3 18 Substandard and poor housing, 1955 October 6 17 items (7 negatives, 8 envelopes, 2 note cards)
Addresses include 433 S. Hope; 119 S. Grand; 724 W. First; 314 S. Olive; and 237 S. Bunker Hill. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 99-105. Primarily interior views.
3 19 Slums, stores, alleys, and street conditions, 1955 October 8-1955 October 10 36 items (16 negatives, 17 envelopes, 2 note cards, 1 note)
Addresses and streets include W. First; 135 S. Olive; 120 S. Grand; 520-530 W. First; 120 S. Bunker Hill; 125 S. Olive; 334 S. Figueroa (Sack Alley); alley at Clay and W. Fourth; 332 S. Figueroa; 125 S. Olive; 119 S. Olive; 638 W. First; 315 S. Bunker Hill; and First and Olive. Includes street conditions viewed from 101 N. Bunker Hill. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 106-121. File name is a compilation of keywords written on the numerous envelopes.
box folder
4 1 Playgrounds, substandard, poor, and acceptable housing, traffic, and general views, 1955 October 18 45 items (21 negatives, 2 note cards, 22 envelopes)
Addresses include 334 S. Figueroa; 502 W. First; 638 W. First; 330 S. Grand; 251 S. Olive; 515 W. Second; 447 S. Hope; 315 S. Olive ;350 S. Figueroa; 245 S. Flower. Includes views of Sack Alley; traffic at Fourth and Hillside; S. Flower; W. First and Third streets. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 122-139. File name is a compilation of keywords written on the numerous envelopes.
4 2 General views, traffic, playgrounds, 1955 October 19 29 items (14 negatives, 15 envelopes)
View from W. Fifth and S. Figueroa looking northeast; traffic on S. Figueroa from Fourth St. ramp looking north; ramp at Fourth; Fourth and S. Flower hillside; playground at rear of 119 S. Olive; playground next to 334 S. Figueroa. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 140-148. Views include parking lots and children sliding down small dirt slopes on cardboard. File name is a compilation of keywords written on the numerous envelopes.
4 3 Traffic, land use, housing (poor, substandard, slums) and street conditions, shopping, and recreation, 1955 October 26 52 items (25 negatives, 26 envelopes, 1 note card)
Views of traffic include W. Third from the Third St. tunnel and the intersection of S. Figueroa and W. First. Housing addresses include 107 S. Bunker Hill; 700 W. First; 255 S. Bunker Hill; 237 S. Flower; rear of 224 S. Olive; 316 S. Clay; 218 S. Olive; 314 S. Olive, 218 S. Bunker Hill, 133 S. Hope, 245 S. Flower, and 209 S. Olive. Images documenting land use include 638 W. First from the rear; Clay St. looking northwest from 328 Clay; and W. Second and S. Hill looking north. Also included are street conditions at W. Third St. and S. Hope; the alleyway at Olive Court; and views of shop fronts, children playing, and adults sitting along a ledge in Pershing Square.
Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 149-174. File name is a compilation of keywords written on the numerous envelopes.
4 4 Traffic and general views, 1955 October 26 14 items (6 negatives, 7 envelopes, 1 note card)
Views of traffic at W. First and S. Olive, and S. Olive, Fourth, and fifth streets. General views taken from the Edison building looking north and from the 1100 block of Huntley Dr. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 175-179.
4 5 Housing (acceptable, poor, substandard) and street conditions, 1955 October 31 30 items (13 negatives, 14 envelopes, 3 note cards)
Housing addresses include 330 S. Grand; 416 S. Grand; 251 S. Olive; 248 S. Olive; 210 S. Flower; 337 S. Hope; 210 S. Grand; 237-9 S. Bunker Hill; 333 S. Clay; and 317 S. Olive. Street conditions are shown from 327 S. Hope looking north and at W. Third St. and S. Olive looking west from Angels Flight. Also includes traffic at the northeast corner of W. Second and S. Hope. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 180-192. File name is a compilation of keywords written on the numerous envelopes.
4 6 Shopping, 1955 November 29 26 items (12 negatives, 13 envelopes, 1 note card)
Shopping areas in and around Bunker Hill. Also includes views of Pershing Square; Angels Flight; a general view from Bay and W. First looking sothwest; and street conditions near the Second Street tunnel. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 193-204.
4 7 People, 1955 November 9 15 items (7 negatives, 8 envelopes)
People on Third St.; Grand St.; W. Fourth St.; and S. Clay St. People are depicted outdoors; walking; shopping; sitting on park benches in an empty lot; and reading. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 205-211.
4 8 County garage, 1956 January 12 6 items (1 negative, 1 envelope, 4 note cards)
Located at W. Second and S. Hill streets. Group numbered Bunker Hill 2, 217a.
Temple area, 1948-1957, undated
Includes interior and exterior residential views of the 180-acre Temple Street area on the northwest border of Bunker Hill which was a fashionable residential neighborhood in the late-nineteenth century.
box folder
4 9 Mr. and Mrs. Wilcox, 717 Temple, 1948 August 23 1 item (1 envelope)
Empty envelope numbered A-532.
4 10 1138 Colton and 146 N Beaudry, 1956 August 16 items (6 negatives, 7 envelopes, 3 note cards)
Group numbered Temple 2a-7b. Includes views of a kitchen with several small children.
4 11 General views, land use and streets, and public and residential buildings, 1956 August 14-1957 November 16 37 items (18 negatives, 19 envelopes)
General views from 110 Boylston; Glendale Blvd. and Colton; Flower and Court; Huntley Dr. and W. Second; and from Huntley Dr. Streets and terrain at Temple St. from the Harbor Freeway; W. First and Douglas; Toluca, and the Second St. Bridge from Beverly Blvd. and Lucas. Land use at W. First and Fremont; from Court and Douglas to Glendale Blvd.; and W. Second to Huntley Dr. near Beaudry. Public buildings include the Echo Park library at Glendale Blvd. and Temple, and the Board of Education Employment Office on N. Temple. Residential addresses include 1142 Mignonette; 1138 Colton; and 1145 Court. Also included are a recreation area at 912 Diamond; shopping on the corner of Temple and Fremont; and apartment interiors. Group numbered Temple 31-48.
4 12 Residential, 1956 August 14-1957 November 18 17 items (8 negatives, 9 envelopes)
Residential interiors and exteriors at 133 1/2 and 146 N. Beaudry; 1551 Court; 1350 Temple; 301 N. Figueroa; 811 Temple; and 1134 Angelina. Images show interior housing conditions, the Raymond Inn hotel and annex, and housing exteriors. Land use at Court and Toluca. Group numbered Temple 49-56.
Interiors, 1957
box folder
4 13 Slums (interiors), 1957 July 25 3 items (1 envelope, 2 note cards)
4 14 Residential interiors, 1957 November 25 25 items (12 negatives, 13 envelopes)
Residential buildings on Angelina, Diamond, Fremont, and Colton streets. Mostly unpeopled interiors, with two views of little children sitting along a driveway or alley between two buildings. Group numbered Temple 106-111b.
4 15 Streets, public and residential buildings, 1957 November 14 23 items (11 negatives, 12 envelopes)
General views of streets include the Colton and Court streets area, and the northeast corner of Diamond and N. Figueroa. Residential exteriors at 327 N. Fremont; 911 (Rex Apartments), 912 and 916 Diamond; 212, 218, and 255 N. Fremont. Public buildings include the County Health Building, N. Figueroa, and Municipal Power and Light, 110 S. Boylston. Recreation includes the church playground behind 200 N. Beaudry. Group numbered Temple 1-11a.
4 16 Streets and alleys, land use and terrain, public and residential buildings, 1957 November 15 39 items (19 negatives, 20 envelopes)
Streets include the intersections of Colton and Douglas and Boylston and Colton, and Glendale Blvd. Alleys between Colton and First and Douglas and Edgeware; Court and Colton; and Toluca and Douglas. Land use and terrain conditions at Court and Douglas; between Edgeware and Toluca; between Colton and Court; Douglas; Council and Glendale Blvd.; and 1139 W. Second. Commercial buildings at N. Beaudry and W. First. Public buildings include the Los Angeles Deptartment of Water and Power, 1216 W. First, and the Cortez Street School at 1321 Cortez. Housing at 383, 387, and 391 Douglas; 1020 Colton; and 1420 Temple. Public recreation area at Glendale Blvd. and Temple. Group numbered Temple, 12a-30a.
4 17 Land use, shopping, residential, and recreation, 1957 November 21 49 items (24 negatives, 25 envelopes)
Includes Temple Beaudry, Court, Fremont, Colton, Rockwood, Figueroa, Patton, and W. Second streets; and Glendale Blvd. Also includes Boylston market and a general view of the Temple Street area. Group numbered Temple 57-80.
box folder
5 1 Residential and commercial buildings, shopping, land use, recreational, streets and alleys, 1957 November 21 43 items (21 negatives, 22 envelopes)
Group numbered Temple 81-104. Missing negatives 102, 103, and 104. Images of people include little kids sitting on a backyard fence; apartment residents; a street cobbler; neighbors talking in the street.
box folder
12 1 Views and housing, undated 22 items (21 slides, 1 slide box)
35mm color slides. Images include oil derricks in residential areas; exterior housing conditioons; housing interiors with and without residents; debris and trash; and street views.
Ann Street, 1952-1956
The 33-acre Ann Street Redevelopment Project, approved by Los Angeles Mayor Norris C. Poulson in 1954, was the first redevelopment plan in the state of California, and the CRA's first project. Located approximately one mile northeast of City Hall, the 33 acre area encompassing an eight block radius and comprising residential and other types of buildings was cleared to create new industrial spaces and expand existing businesses. Ann Street runs perpendicular to Spring Street and Main Street, from the Cornfields (now Los Angeles State Historic Park) to William Mead Homes. The area is bounded by North Spring, Mesnager, North Main, Llewellyn, and Rondout Streets.
box folder
5 2 Houses, 1952 June 18 53 items (17 negatives, 17 contact prints, 1 note card, 18 envelopes)
Primarily front and rear views of housing.
5 3 Demolition ceremony, 1956 January 11 23 items (22 negatives, 1 envelope)
Demolition ceremony in 1956 including Mayor Norris C. Paulson and Councilman Ernest E. Debs watching the first stages of demolition. Also includes views of workers engaged in the various processes of demolition.
Alameda area, 1952
box folder
5 4 Houses and commercial buildings, 1952 June 12 64 items (21 negatives, 21 contact prints, 22 envelopes)
Includes the following streets in the Alameda area: Alameda; Commercial; Hewitt; Garey; Vignes; Jackson; and DuCom[___]. Exterior views of housing and mixed use areas.
5 5 Gas tank, 1952 November 18 6 items (5 negatives, 1 envelope)
Also includes the area around Second and Hill streets, and City Hall and a rendering of the propsed redeveloment of the area.
box folder
13 4 Correspondence and notes, 1951-1998, undated 3 items
Includes a letter from Percival G. Hart, executive director, CRA Los Angeles to Howard Holtzendorff, executive director, HACLA, and a note on the verso of an advertising card regarding negatives related to the CRA.

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