Sunday, March 16, 2008

Elysian Park walking tour

This sat was a scheduled walking tour brought by the Echo Park Historical Society. I decided to book my spot and check it out. I gone to Elysian park a few times but only like one section of it where some of my friends have BBQ s and I also knew Dodger stadium and the Police Academy was located in sections of the park but I never really knew much about the park nor explored it since I live like 20 miles away but since I love history I decided to check it out and it was a pretty interesting tour and a nice hike as well. I recommend checking out the historical society website and reserve one of the three walking tours they got for this one you can also take your dog along.
Here is some history I pulled off from the Echo Park Historical Society

Los Angeles' First Park

Elysian Park is the city's oldest public park and, at 575-acres, the second largest after Griffith Park. It is home to numerous historic sites, including the Los Angeles Police Academy and Barlow Hospital, that are linked by miles of walking trails.

In 1769, Gaspar de Portola and Father Juan Crespi camped on the river bank opposite Buena Vista Hill near the North Broadway Bridge entrance to Elysian Park. Yang-Na Indian villagers from the creeks of Solano Canyon and the current location of the Los Angeles Police Academy greeted the Spaniards with native refreshments.

In 1781, the Pueblo of Los Angeles was officially established by Spanish California Governor Felipe de Neve with the Royal Grant of 4 square Spanish leagues (translated into 28 square miles or about 17,000 acres) of Pueblo Lands. Of this public land grant, the approximately 575-acre Elysian Park is the last remaining large piece. All else has been auctioned off or given away. Los Angeles even had to buy back the site of the present City Hall.

One of the first American official acts was the Ord Survey of 1849 to record the boundaries of these Pueblo Lands so they could be auctioned to produce city revenue. Elysian Park was then known as Rock Quarry Hills for the building stone mined in the area. But instead of being sold, the Rock Quarry Hills area were "reserved" for public purpose and withdrawn from public auction.
In 1886, the Mayor and City Council of Los Angeles dedicated the Rock Quarry Hills as a city park forever, and renamed it Elysian Park (Elysian is derived from the Greek word paradise). Subsequent city charters have protected dedicated park lands and their use for park purposes in perpetuity.
These are rare charter provisions, as city charters go, and have given parkland protectors a firm legal base for organized support of dedicated park land in the City of Los Angeles. It is upon this legal base that the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park has fought for two decades to retain park lands for park purposes.
Every effort is being made to establish the historical significance of this public park in order to conserve it for future generations as a part of the Santa Monica Mountains system of urban open space vital to the survival of the human, animal and botanical denizens of these historic parklands.

Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department

More info on Elysian and other city parks.

Elysian Park Historical Significance

Native American-History
Yang-Na village was located at the Aliso Street crossing of the Los Angeles River and Shoshone (Gabrielinos) bands congregated in the Rock Garden area of the Police Academy within Elysian Park.

Spanish Era
1769 Portola and Crespi diaries recorded the Elysian Park site enroute to claiming Alta California for Spain.
1771 San Gabriel Mission was founded by Father Junipero Serra.
1776 Juan Bautista de Anza crossed Rio Porciuncula at the junction of Arroyo Seco on way to founding Northern California's San Francisco, following the Portola Trail along the Santa Monica Mountains to Ventura
1781 El Pueblo de Los Angeles was founded by edict of Carlos III of Spain.

Mexican Era
1835 Pueblo status was granted by the Mexican Government, still recognizing the 4 square leagues as city land. Secularization of missions brought the first great land rush to split mission lands into individual rancho grants.

American Era
1849 American Military Government ordered E. O. C. Ord Survey of Los Angeles City Limits, setting off the first city real estate boom1883. Mayor C.E. Thom signed enabling ordinance to preserve remaining Pueblo Lands for public park purposes.

Park Named Elysian
1886 City Ordinance Number 218 signed April 5 by Mayor E.F. Spence, dedicated Rock Quarry Hills in the following words: "That the real property located in the city of Los Angeles and owned by the city of Los Angeles hereinafter described, is hereby set apart for the use of the public as a Public Park, and is forever dedicated to the Public as such park."

The Committee on Parks authorized and named Elysian Park and purchased the first planting of gum trees for $200.

Parks Department Created
1889 Los Angeles first Freeholders Charter, Section 113, protected dedicated park lands in perpetuity. This Charter also created the Parks Department, which was consolidated with the Recreation Department by Charter Amendment in 1947.

Arboretum Founded
1893 Los Angeles Horticultural Society established the Arboretum and extensive botanical gardens in Elysian Park. The Chavez Ravine Arboretum, Elysian Park, was declared City Historical-Cultural Monument Number 48 in 1967.

Avenue of the Palms
1895 The Avenue of the Palms, rare specimens of wild date were planted, on what is now Stadium Way north of Scott Avenue

In Perpetuity
1928 Los Angeles' second, current Freeholders Charter, Section 170, reaffirms protection of parklands in perpetuity.

Master Plan
1971 The Elysian Park Master Plan was adopted.

Santa Monica Mountains Zone
1982 The Santa Monica Mountains Zone of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy was extended by the State Legislature to include Elysian Park and El Pueblo as eastern extremity of the Zone, thereby reinforcing Elysian Park status as a regional park

here are some pix i took

another old school drinking fountain just like the one in the old Wilmington square I dont think
this one works though lol.

overlooking the Southbound Pasadena Fwy the freeway was cut into the park

various paths in the park
Northbound Pasadena fwy
LA River shots taken from the road up to Elysian Park

Pix above is the old city jail before Mens Central
shot of nice wheat paste poster view of river from park
Someone got a nice spot on the walls of the park facing the Fwy Southbound lanes

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