Theearly features of social activities and topography of early LosAngeles was erased when the Bunker Hill became a center for corporatelandscape. High-rise modern corporate towers and plazas emerged at inthe Bunker Hill which became a central district office of Downtown ofLos Angeles. It has historic importance since it separates theDowntown Loa Angeles to the western side of the city. Its hillytopography made some of the early people grasp the beautiful view ofthe early Los Angeles City. (Adler)
Theoriginal Bunker Hill was a place for the financially affluent andsocially prestige people. Its topography attracts many high incomeresidents to build their fashionable buildings and apartments. Asidefrom the wealthy people, Bunker Hill also became a district centerfor lodging for the high working class people. After its glory days,the Bunker Hill became a decaying society. High crime rate emergesand the investments on the district decreases. The depressionresulted to the Victorian hotels to be used as cheap apartments. Andmost of the buildings in the present are run-down and demolished. Inthe 1950s, the reconstruction of the Bunker Hill emerges and the oldhotels and streets where demolished. The hill was erased by loweringthe elevation to support the upcoming high buildings which can beseen today in the modern downtown Los Angeles. (Adler)
Thehilly topography of the Bunker Hill was the reason for the purchaseof most of the land by Prudent Beaudry in 1867. He was a richdeveloper of lands to make the area a residential place. It has abeautiful view for the Los Angeles Basin and River which makes thesubdivision he created a best place for the wealthy individuals. Hebuilds the Victorian Hotels and Apartments which is a famous placefor the upper-class people of Los Angeles. However, transportationhas been a major problem in the district. They developed the AngelsFlight which is a short railway but it cannot bring people to thewest side of the City. (Adler)
Prudentwas one of the people who aim to develop the Bunker Hill to be asubdivision for the privilege residents of Los Angeles. They createdthe streets that connected the hill to the developed areas ofDowntown Los Angeles. Calle Loma or also known as the Hill Street wascreated along the baseline of the hill. In the early period of itsdevelopment, the Spanish names were used for the street such as CalleEsperanza, Calle de las Flores and Calle Primavera. The oldindigenous people living in California used these roads to walkaround the curves of the hill. The street grid is also not connectedto the subsequent developed area. (Politi, 3)
In1867, Prudent Beaudry and Stephen Moth, another wealthy resident ofthe subdivision, helped to create the street grid extension. Thefunding of the construction was due to the availability of tax. Theactual buildings only emerged in the 1870s when the transportationbecomes available for the subdivisions in the Bunker Hill. Theconstruction was a difficult task since they should travel thematerials up on the hill. The transportation technology was not beendeveloped during these times. During the construction period, theresidents did not leave since the place is very peaceful for them.The hill became their escape route from the stress created by thedevelopment and crowding of the Downtown Los Angeles. Theconstruction of the apartments and buildings also did not follow thetraditional way but the imagination and aspirations of the residentswere dictated from the unique structures of the buildings. After theconstruction in 1880, it became the center for the high-classresidents such as lawyers, doctors and businessmen. By 1890s, hotelswere built at the center of the Bunker Hill which is the top of theelevation. The Bunker Hill expanded to the west which is a sign ofincreasing population and immigrants. (Politi, 3)
Bythe start of 1920s, many of the old residents of the Bunker Hillmoved to more prestigious subdivisions such as Beverly Hills andHollywood. They sold their mansion to the merchants. The mansionswere divided into many rooms to accommodate more people visiting theBunker Hill. The increase in population in the Bunker Hill resultedto more wealthy people leaving the subdivision. The residents beganto experience disgust for the crowding and the destruction of theonce elegant mansions created. (Pugsley 15)
Inthe late 1920s, tenement houses were built to accommodate moreincoming strangers in the Bunker Hill. It was the time when Ems wasbuilt in the Olive Street and the dome were built in the Hope Streetand First Street. Some of the elegant buildings abandoned by thewealthy residents were used as commercial buildings. The shift inmore elegant subdivision, accompanied by the crowding of the BunkerHill resulted to population shifting from high class to middleworking class. At the start of 1940s, the population increasedgreatly in the Bunker Hill. However, construction of buildingsstopped due to the decrease of investment and shifting of oldresidents to other subdivisions. The Bunker Hill became theresidential area for the middle class segment of the population. Inthe 1950s, the Bunker Hill became a dangerous place due to high crimerates and below standard of living conditions.(Loukaitou-Sideris and Gail)
In1950s, they decided to reconstruct the Bunker Hill. The old VictorianMansions and the elegant buildings were demolished. Even the Hillitself where contoured for reshaping the area for more development oflarge and high buildings to be created in the Downtown of LosAngeles. The top of the Hill was flattened to create modern buildingsand commercial plazas to initiate the first stage of the earlydevelopment of the new Bunker Hill. The Los Angeles City Plannerssought to build a more sophisticated city with modern day image intheir creation of the tallest buildings in the region. (Harris133)
Someof the oldest buildings in the Bunker Hill were reused. Some of thefamous buildings created in the new Bunker Hill are the Walt DisneyConcert Hall and the Museum of the Contemporary Art. The most famousarchitecture in the modern Bunker Hill is the Cathedral of Our Ladyof the Angels. There are also continuing projects which will createthousands of new residential areas and space for entertainments.(Davis132)
TheBunker Hill is one of the most important historical areas that depictthe very culture of the residents of Los Angeles. The Bunker Hill wasdeveloped to accommodate the high class residents, building many ofthe most elegant buildings of the region. Due to the shift ofinterest of the residents to more sophisticate subdivisions, added bythe increase in population of the area, the Bunker Hill become illand reconstruction is the only way to resolve its problem. The BunkerHill remains its crowded residents although its social andphilosophical aim was not achieved.
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Harris,Mildred. History and a Hill, Los Angeles Loses a Landmark. TheHistorical Society of Southern California Quarterly. 1950. Web.http://www.jstor.org/stable/41168249 . 8 May 2014
Loukaitou-Sideris,Anastasia, and Gail, Sansbury. Lost Streets of BunkerHill. CaliforniaHistory 74(No. 4): 394-407. Print.
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