Bunker Hill in Los Angeles is roughly five square blocks located in the Northwest area of downtown. In 1959, the area was the subject of a massive “urban-renewal” project that would change the downtown landscape.
In the early part of the twentieth century, Bunker Hills was home to some of the most elegant mansions, hotels, and Los Angeles elite. By the 1950s, however, downtown was loosing its luster, and most of these large homes became subdivided into low-income housing.
The Bunker Hill project started in 1959 and continued for the next 53 years. We can see the dramatic change in landscape and architecture thanks to this short film by Keven McAlester (published by The NewYorker), which shows a side-by-side comparison of the streets in downtown Los Angeles from the 1940s and today.
I always love hearing of little histories like this. It reminds me of a book on Chicago that I used to have, for what reason I really have no idea, but it went in depth about all the neighborhoods and how they came to be and all the immigrants. Fascinating stuff, and it is important to understand history.
I’ve heard a little bit about that story, it really is fascinating. It clearly is important to know about history, no matter what country you’re from, indeed.
Los Angeles certainly had it’s charm during the 1950’s. I loved the movie Chinatown that captured the old-school architecture from that era.
I absolutely love watching and reading things like this. The video made is beautiful to watch because even though I don’t live anywhere near Los Angeles or that area, I still feel this weird nostalgic vibe surrounding it. The architecture was so interesting.
It’s really crazy to think about all of the changes that they’ve made to the area, to the building and its history.
I’d love to visit Los Angeles in the future and perhaps walk down those streets myself.
Wow ! That is so awesome. I am amazed by the video quality and editing used in this. The 1940’s video shoot is the same as the new video. Even the streets is the same path where they drove. The difference is only the structures and road enhancement but the drive is the same. Cool post.