It Caught My Eye: The Oldest Existing Swastika In Los Angeles?

I’ve written before about one of the secondary benefits of bicycling being the more direct connection you get to the areas you pedal through. You can’t help but discover people, places and things that are so easily missed from behind the wheel of a car.

But even on a bike it takes awhile for things to reveal. Case in point, this egregious and aged symbol pictured below etched in the concrete roadway of 4th Street at Las Palmas a couple blocks east of Highland that I’ve rolled past hundreds of times in the Hancock Park portion of my crosstown commutes back and forth across Los Angeles, but only just this morning happened to see.

For what it’s worth, it seems to have been carved into a subsequent layer of repair/replacement roadway as opposed to the original concrete street, which I’d guess was poured in the 1920s/’30s. But whether it’s 6 years old or 60 it doesn’t surprise me that it’s survived for however long it has. It’s in a place no one sees and fewer people look.

7 Replies to “It Caught My Eye: The Oldest Existing Swastika In Los Angeles?”

  1. “one of the secondary benefits of a bicycling being the more direct connection you get to the areas you pedal throughone of the secondary benefits of a bicycling being the more direct connection you get to the areas you pedal through,” Will.

    Same thing with the bus. It’s freaky man. When I drove I never saw anything, in regards to anything wrong with anything. I was in my car. I went to places people wanted to see me. I went home, that was it. On a bike or on public transit you see things you didn’t intend on seeing, you have to sit next to for 20 minutes people who don’t want to sit by you or you don’t want to sit by. There are lots of positives to this though. I had no idea how wide the class divide is in LA. I felt so pissed that no one had told me about this, I mean this is real, really real. I know its weird if you are in a car, but in a car I used to talk about lots of things that I read about, on the bus or on a bike you get to see all of those things up close. I didn’t think I could get more political, but oddly not owning a personal vehicle truly made me see the odd things, some good and some bad about LA.

    Browne

  2. This is indeed freaky. I just saw a swastika in concrete, in the support for a bus shelter on Balboa and Saticoy (southbound, in front of Yummy Donuts.)

    I imagine it will be there forever.

  3. Well the bases of all the lampposts in my neighborhood in Glendale have swastikas (the “backward” ones, not the Nazi ones) on them… the neighborhood was laid out in the mid- to late- 1920’s, so I assume the lampposts were installed at the same time.

  4. I used to live around there, and this swazi always caught my eye when walking down 4th to La Brea. I thought it was especially disturbing given the large orthodox jewish population in this neighborhood.

  5. Robbbb – there’s an old City of LA light pole design that has swastikas all along the base. I’ve seen swastikas in pre-WWII municipal items like light poles and manholes all across the country. And neither the right or left facing swastikas need be Nazi ones – the swastika is a universal symbol that belongs to everybody.

Comments are closed.