Monday, January 16, 2006
"Built to last 60 years without serious major repairs, LAHA low-rent homes for war workers are permanent structures." -- Los Angeles Times, October 1942
(Channel Heights, Richard Neutra, 1941-3, demolished)
Wilmington Hall, Rancho San Pedro, Banning Homes and Channel Heights housed 11,000 defense industry workers in the Harbor area. They were, as further described, "bombproof" and "will also stand up against the ravages of earthquakes, contractors say"...that may have been, but in January 1954 Mayor Paulson applied to the Public Housing Administration for Banning's demolition. (This was the time, after all, when subsidized housing had taken on the dreadful taint of Communism...an epithet thrown at Frank Wilkinson when he worked on putting Neutra's plans for Chavez Ravine into action, and we all know how that turned out.) The Times changed its tune regarding warchitecture's permenance; regarding Banning Homes, they wrote: "The temporary dwelling structures were constructed in 1943 as shelters for war workers and provided 1597 apartment units..." Homes for seniors were considered, as was a school, so of course the property was rezoned industrial; returning a Federal property to the tax rolls was of primary importance to Vincent Thomas and his boys on the COC.
Oh, and the Longs?
The Longs asked for $100,000. They were awarded $15,513. Standard Oil did their damndest to get out of even paying that.