How Los Angeles destroyed a community and built a ballpark on top of it.
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Before Dodger Stadium, LA had Palo Verde, La Loma, and Bishop — three neighborhoods that made up a thriving, predominantly Mexican American community in an area known as Chavez Ravine.
But in the late 1940s, the city marked that area as “blighted,” setting the stage for a decade-long battle by residents to preserve the community against threats of eviction. Ultimately, the city forced out residents with little to no compensation, clearing the way for the future baseball stadium.
The result is a complicated legacy, a story that’s often missing from the history of Los Angeles, and for some, hard questions about what it means to be a fan of the LA Dodgers. Through interviews with several former residents of the area, this episode of Missing Chapter explores the story of the neighborhoods cleared to make way for the future chosen by the city.
Note: The headline on this video has been updated.
Previous headline: Dodger Stadium’s violent origin story
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For more on Chavez Ravine’s history, check out the oral history and archival project, An Unfinished Story: https://www.chavezravinela.com/home
Buried Under the Blue:
Eric Nusbaum’s book, Stealing Home:
Eric Avila’s article, “Revisiting the Chavez Ravine”: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-137-04269-9_8
Don Normark’s photo book:
Code Switch’s article on Chavez Ravine: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/10/31/561246946/remembering-the-communities-buried-under-center-field
99 Percent Invisible’s podcast: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/beneath-the-ballpark/
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