Accidental Urban Archaeology

brick.jpgKim Cooper takes a break from crimeblogging 1907 Los Angeles to report on some unannounced and undeliberate excavation work being done near the Brewery downtown.

It is more than two weeks now since the graders came and removed the surface layer of the asphalt on Avenue 20, between Albion and Broadway, then went away without finishing their work. For all that time, the NO PARKING signs have hung on the telephone poles, and the regular parade of shortcutting commuters have bounced along on their unhappy shocks, as the street beneath them grew more uneven and dilapidated…

After a week, a flash of red edged by corroded silver was visible on Avenue 20 just before Broadway. A careful peek between passing cars revealed a long-buried light rail track, with a row of handsome, narrow brick placed alongside it.


Another week of roadwork exposed cobblestones. Kim has pics and more details at her site, 1947 Project. In spite of the appearance of century old roadworks, she’s ready to have her roads back.

City of L.A., your street services suck, but I can’t really be angry that you scraped up my block and disappeared, because the sight of long-covered cobblestones have a peculiar calming effect on history geeks. So thanks a million for the cool experience. I’ll never look at the street the same way again. Now will you please get some guys over here to pave the freaking street?

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One Reply to “Accidental Urban Archaeology”

  1. So, this urban “ruins” of a street fits well with the theme from last week on the LA blogosphere. The revealed brick recalls Bruno Street: the oldest street still being used that is cobblestone-esque (between Alameda and Main, just northeast from Philippe’s).

    As for getting the street finally paved, call 311; or better yet, send an email to Bill Robertson, Director of Street Services: [email protected]. He’s quite responsive and if nothing else can tell you what the hold-up and timeline are.

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