Never Built: A modernist masterpiece in Chavez Ravine?

 “Never Built” is a fascinating new show at the A&D Museum in mid-Wilshire featuring fabulous, sometimes visionary plans for Southern California that never happened. As part of KCRW’s Design and Architecture coverage, we produced this four part  series  on some of the most fascinating projects that were never built. 

Elysian Park plan. Courtesy of Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
Elysian Park plan. Courtesy of Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research

What was almost built in Chavez Ravine near downtown? A lot of people think that the community of people who lived there were kicked off their land to build Dodger Stadium. The true story is that they were moved out to build a massive, ultra-modern public housing project designed by one of the superstars of 20th century architecture, Richard Neutra. The plan was to house 3,300 families in a sprawling complex of 24, 13-story towers and 163 two-story garden apartments. Below, why the project was never actually built, and a bit of nostalgia for what might have been.

The show is open July 28th through October 13th at the A&D Museum. 

A row house by Richard Neutra. Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles Photograph Collection
Home in Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles 1953 UCLA, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library

Thanks to Bullfrog Films for the use of audio from their documentary film “Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story.” And to Richard Montoya and Culture Clash for the use of sound from the audiobook of their show “Chavez Ravine.” And to Caitlin Borzi for production assistance.