New Los Angeles Historic Maps Book

October 4, 2010 § 4 Comments

Los Angeles in Maps by Glen Creason, 2010

Well… it’s due out in “mid-October” and it’s not quite out yet… but L.A. Observed and LAist announced it, so Creek Freak figures we better get on the bandwagon quick!

It’s Los Angeles in Maps, a new book written by Glen Creason and published by Rizzoli. Creason is the map librarian based at downtown Los Angeles’ Central Library. The book grew out of the Central Library’s 2008 exhibition L.A. Unfolded (curated by Creason) and features a lot of the great maps shown there – including plenty of fascinating early images featuring the L.A. River and other local waterways. It includes the 1919 railroad company map of the lower L.A. which I referred to earlier (and photographed so badly – now you’ll see what I was talkin’ about.)

It includes an introduction by D.J. Waldie. Creek Freak’s Joe Linton contributed a short essay entitled Mapping Los Angeles’ Missing River. Here’s a short excerpt from the middle of my essay:

The river shrank in prominence in mid-twentieth-century maps. Even when shown, the word river disappears, replaced by the anonymous “Los Angeles County Flood Control Channel,” as the river is titled on a 1938 map of Los Angeles’ harbor and vicinity. Gradually the freeway system became the navigational touchstone for mapping L. A. The river, nearly entirely encased in concrete, became unmapped … invisible, hidden … and no longer perceived as a river.

You’ll just have to get the book to read the rest! Creason and Waldie will speak about the book at an ALOUD talk at the downtown library on Thursday October 28th 2010.

Special thanks to Glen Creason, and to two folks who proof-read my essay: my mom and Adonia Lugo.


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