Demolition at Taylor Yard

October 15, 2009 § 3 Comments

Rails being dismantled at Taylor Yard

Rails being dismantled at Taylor Yard

I met up with a Los Angeles Times reporter at Rio de Los Angeles State Park today. He’s writing a story on how the planned state high-speed rail could hinder or help river revitalization, and I will link to his story when it runs. What I saw today that’s also newsworthy is that there’s serious demolition going down at what’s left of Taylor Yard. A sharp-eyed reader had emailed me about this a week ago, but today was the first day I actually saw it.

A brief background on Taylor Yard, a 243-acre former Southern Pacific railroad switching yard. It’s located between San Fernando Road and the Los Angeles River, from the 2 Freeway to almost the 110 Freeway. It’s the biggest undeveloped site along pretty much the entire length of the Los Angeles River, hence a huge opportunity for large scale restoration… though it does have some issues with very serious toxins from about a century of locomotive engine maintenance. Small portions of the yard have been redeveloped for light industrial uses, but one of the most egregious development proposals was blocked by a community coalition. After preventing proposed development, California State Parks purchased a 40-acre parcel (Parcel D) and an additional 20-acre parcel (the bowtie area of Parcel G.) Parcel D is now the well-loved Rio de Los Angeles State Park, which is a joint project of the state and the city of Los Angeles. The park features 20 acres of active recreation fields and 20 acres of restored habitat. In the eyes of community members, creek freaks, and the city’s master plan, the vision for the site is a 100+acre river park.

Today there were bulldozers and other construction vehicles demolishing the large white buildings where locomotive engine maintenance took place while the yard was active. The buildings are in Parcel G. I couldn’t get too close, but here’s an image – upper half of the building looks like it’s standing on stilts because the lower part of the walls has been demolished:

The large white buildings being demolished. Photo taken from the access road train bridge, looking upstream.

The large white buildings being demolished. Photo taken from the access road train bridge, looking upstream.

I confess that I don’t know why this is happening now… or what the land is being prepared for. There had been a push by Assemblymember Kevin de Leon for State Parks to purchase the remainder of Parcel G… but I hadn’t heard any news of that recently… and I suspect that the state’s serious budget shortfalls make this kind of purchase very difficult at this time. If anyone out there can shed more light on what’s going on with the demolition at Taylor Yard, please post information in the comments.

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