Photographing Nearly-Demolished Taylor Yard Rail Facilities

October 18, 2009 § 8 Comments

L.A. Creek Freak surveys the remains the 40-railcar roundhouse at Taylor Yard. All photos: Nathan Baird

L.A. Creek Freak surveys the remains the 40-railcar roundhouse at Taylor Yard. All photos: Nathan Baird

My friend Nate and I bicycled out to Taylor Yard to survey and photograph the destruction. The white buildings that I’ve seen there for the last 20 years are no longer standing. It’s an odd moonscape. I still don’t know quite why the demolition is proceeding right now… who is paying for it… and why? I will try to get answers this week. If any readers can shed light on it, please do.

I am a little worried that it could be some mischief afoot… such as when a developer purchased the nearby Taylor Yard parcel where the Los Angeles Unified School District is building a high school. The developer immediately proceeded to pave the site to supposedly increase its value? The whole thing complicated the school district’s acquisition, devolving into a legal eminent domain battle.

Here are a few more of Nate’s photos:

Former train bays at Taylor Yard

Former train bays at Taylor Yard

Ruins at Taylor Yard

Ruins at Taylor Yard

This room looked like it had a dark shiny marbled flood - but it was rainwater mixed with gunk

This room looked like it had a dark shiny marbled flood - but it was rainwater mixed with gunk

Good Housekeeping!

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING also means SAFETY

Check out more photos of the destruction that was Taylor Yard at Nate’s photo page.

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§ 8 Responses to Photographing Nearly-Demolished Taylor Yard Rail Facilities

  • Paul Dyson says:

    Why are you guys trespassing on and around railroad tracks? There have been enough deaths along that section of line. The photo of Mr. Linton alongside the tracks in today’s Times is an invitation to kids to get themselves killed. You guys should be sending a sensible message about rail safety.

    PD

  • Joe Linton says:

    Well, I dug a little and my intrepid sources have found a little information which I will post here. The demolition is permitted with the city of Los Angeles, with information as follows:

    DEMOLITION PERMITS were issued:
    ADDRESS: 1555 N. SAN FERNANDO ROAD
    PCIS: 09019 10000 01095 – 09019 10000 01108

    NOTE: Since some buildings are railroad related, I believe that this address is the TAYLOR YARDS (Southern Pacific Railroad switching yards).
    ……
    09019 10000 01095: TRAILER #1
    01096: OFFICE BUILDING #6313
    01097: STORAGE BUILDING #6309
    01098: OFFICE BUILDING #6112
    01099: STORAGE BUILDING #6298
    01100: STORAGE BUILDING #6299
    01101: STORAGE BUILDING #6111
    01102: LOCKER ROOM BUILDING #6314
    01103: LOCKER ROOM BUILDING #6114
    01104: STORAGE BUILDING #6300
    01105: STORAGE BUILDING #6115
    01106: LOCOMOTIVE REPAIR SHOP #6110
    01107: LOCKER ROOM BUILDING # 6061
    01108: STORAGE BUILDING #6310

    Melanie Winter, director of The River Project reports: I asked Don Caldwell at UP whazzup and he said “We are only removing the buildings, nothing more.” She suggested that: there may be liability concerns with leaving a non-operating facility standing, so if I had to guess I’d say it could either be that or they’re looking to increase the viability for sale.

  • R. Jackson says:

    I hope you dont mind, I linked your article to a blog I wrote on my page about the place…

    http://realismphotography.com/?p=82

  • Benny Cardone says:

    I spent 35 years of my life at Taylor Yard.I was also the last Supervisor to work there,when I left the doors were closed.I still work for the UPRR at Commerce.

    • Joe Linton says:

      Wow! It would be interesting to hear your stories about the place… especially in how it interacted with the river. I’d be curious, too, to see old photos of the site.

  • Benny Cardone says:

    Before any construction was attempted on the Taylor yard site,there were telephone poles were driven in the ground for stability because there is a underground water table.We had an elaborate water filter system that would pump water from underground,filter it and send it back. We went out of our way to not allow any oil or diesel fuel to get into the river.But once in while when we had heavy rains,and the holding ponds would overflow,sending dirty water into the river.This is one of the reasons the UPRR sold the property to the state of California.They made $64 million on the deal.I’m told that the UPRR is still responsible for the property.I’ll try to find out just who is demolishing all the buildings and who is paying for it.I imagine when the dirt is tested,there will be a very large cost to clean it up,cause trust me there will be.

  • Joe Linton says:

    Yes – there’s a Coastal Conservancy study that estimated the clean-up costs at the site – I forget the exact numbers, but clean-up was estimated at something like $50-100+million. It’s going to take some resources to make the site into a great river park… but it will happen.

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