Just north of Burbank Blvd. on the west side of Sepulveda, new construction.
In 2011, we are living amidst a big construction project on the San Diego Freeway which will add new lanes and which has also torn up vast sections of Westwood near Wilshire and Sunset along Sepulveda.
The USC Digital Archives has photographs of the 1956 beginnings of the San Diego Freeway, when bulldozers and explosives tore through the Sepulveda Pass and made it possible to eventually travel the nine miles from Encino to Westwood in less than two hours.
The “Hayden Tract” neighborhood of Culver City. National near Washington Blvd. The construction of the Expo Train. has provided a boon to this area and will provide a new alternative way of life to this section of LA.
55 years ago, the opening of the Budweiser plant on Roscoe Blvd. was a big event. Costing $20,000,000
and employing 1500 workers, the plant was a large contributor to the post-war prosperity of Van Nuys.
In 1957, the NAACP launched a boycott of Budweiser beer. An NAACP spokesman said that there were only two “Negroes” employed by Annheuser-Busch in their entire Los Angeles operations! Here is a more detailed article about the racial prejudice black workers faced in the 1950s.
Busch Gardens and Bird Sanctuary was part of the complex and a major tourist attraction for many years until it closed in 1976. Here are more photos of that attraction.
In a sign that Los Angeles is becoming a more environmentally sensitive city, a new 44-acre park, to be built atop the Hollywood Freeway, may be started in 2012. The project, assuming funds are available, may cost $1 billion dollars and bring recreational space to a densely populated and park sparse region of the city.
The LA Times has an article explaining the details. What follows are my opinions:
The building of the Hollywood Freeway in the early 1950′s, sliced right through the residential and commercial heart of the district. It cut off the Franklin Avenue area from the business district along Hollywood Boulevard. It brought noise, pollution, traffic and congestion to one of the most formerly lovely sections of the city. It hastened the decline of Hollywood, by making the automobile the prime focus of city planning and ignoring pedestrians, public transportation and the pulmonary health of our citizens.
By bringing the freeway underground, Los Angeles will follow the example of other American cities like Boston, whose Big Dig is an attempt to connect the North End back to the rest of Boston and improve the traffic patterns of not only cars, but people on foot.
The Hollywood Freeway should never have been built so ruthlessly. A concrete knife plunged into the heart of a great city will now have some remedial arterial surgery to repair the damage.