AKA: Los Angeles Dodger Stadium, Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - recreation areas and structures - stadiums

Designers: [unspecified]

Dates: constructed 1959-1962

1000 Elysian Park Avenue
Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, CA 90012-1112

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Initially, the three sections of the Chavez Ravine Neighborhood housed mostly poor Hispanic residents; by 1949, the City of Los Angeles sought to obtain the land through its power of eminent domain to construct the Elysian Park Heights public housing project. This project, like many public housing efforts just following World War II, sought to provide affordable housing to the many new families created in the war's wake. Just after 1950, Spanish speaking agents fanned out through the neighborhood to buy properties from residents, but by the early 1950s, with the strengthening of McCarthyist Republicanism in Southern California, public housing took on a subversive political cast. A new Republican Mayor, C. Norris Poulson, swept into office in 1953, assisted by the local group, Citizens Against Socialist Housing (CASH). With sentiment steering away from public housing, the City of Los Angeles still procured the Chavez Ravine property from its inhabitants, but underscored that it would be used for a public purpose other than housing. In the late 1950s, Los Angeles City Councilman, Kenneth Hahn, and other power brokers in the city discussed the idea of luring a major league baseball team to Los Angeles; they succeeded in this during the summer of 1957, when they guaranteed that the Brooklyn Dodgers would have a new stadium built for them if they moved west. The Dodgers played their first game April 18, 1958, against the now San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (In a coordinated move, the Dodgers and the Giants were lured from New York at the same time, guaranteeing that a long-standing intra-city rivalry would be resumed on the West Coast.) In 2009, the publication of Michael D'Antonio's book, "Forever Blue," cast new light on the relationship of Dodgers owner, Walter O'Malley, and the urban planning czar of New York City, Robert Moses, suggesting that the greed by the former was not the prime motivation for the move. Moses had an antipathy toward the O'Malley Family, and did not want a new Brooklyn Dodgers stadium (to replace venerable but small Ebbets Field) to be built in a site that he did not personally select. The first game in the long-promised Chavez Ravine Stadium occurred on April 10, 1962.

The Los Angeles Dodgers played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for three years, 1958-1961, before the new Chavez Ravine park was completed. Chavez Ravine was renamed Dodger Stadium in 1965.

PCAD id: 2252