The City of L.A. is currently cutting down many very historically significant and ecologically important trees along Boyle Avenue, between E. 1st St. and E. 4th St. in Los Angeles without due process and without complying with CEQA laws concerning the historical and environmental impact of removal.
The grove today appears to have been planted by Mayor Henry Workman in the late 1800s. Below, I’ve included a link to an image of the Mayor (retired) at his home showing the trees as young saplings. That makes these trees about 120 years old:
The above image was taken from a publication, “Beautiful Highlands of Los Angeles,” published in 1900 and available online through the Library of Congress:
Here is an excerpt from the publication indicating Mayor Workman’s involvement in the project:
Mr. Workman has, by his liberal expenditure of money, time and energy in improvements, been the leading person in making Boyle Heights what it is today, he having expended in cash over two hundred thousand dollars in streets, railroads, piping water all over the Heights, grading streets, constructing sewers, sidewalks, shade trees, and innumerable other improvements that adorn the Heights. ”
Beautiful Highlands of Los Angeles, published in 1900.
(can be found online at: https://archive.org/details/beautifulhighlan00losa
Below is an image of one of the trees as they currently appear:
Here are images of the same Boyle Avenue from First to Fourth in 1941, 1960, and 1971 using the UCSB areal photography FrameFinder application. The “Time Slider” button allows sorting by year :
August 1, 1941 — Boyle runs diagonally from lower left to upper right. First Street is at lower left, with Fourth at upper right. The grove is clearly visible with palms in their respective positions:
Flight c-7334_118 @ UCSB
May 1, 1960 — Boyle runs parallel to and above the freeway:
Flight c-23870_1658 @ UCSB
Flight tg-2755_17-41 @ UCSB
This image is dated 1928 and shows the same grove with a smaller trees than in the 1941 image. You can find them on the same site:
The areal images above make clear that the same grove that exists today, comprised of a mixed array of Silk Oak and Palm, can be dated to at least 1928. One can also verify that the the old driveway at the Workman home (357 Boyle,) which still exists but is not used, maintains the unique feature of having palms at each side, then alternated with the Silk Oaks as is visible in the image below, dated 1900.
Further, the trees in the 1941 image above shows tree shadows well onto Boyle Avenue, indicating their larger size. That means the trees were planted a decade or two prior to 1941, placing them in the 1920s range or earlier. However, given that Workman showcased his own trees in the same location in the same array as in the 1900 publication which contains the photo below, it seems very unlikely that these trees are anything but the same trees planted by Mayor W. H. Workman at or prior to 1900.
The image below, dated 1900, presumably features Mayor Workman. Young palms are shown planted at each side of the driveway of his home. I believe these to be the same two palms which still stand on both sides of the same driveway today:
By the areal photos provided the current grove can be traced to 1928 (eighty-nine years ago,) thus it appears unlikely that these are anything but the same trees shown in the 1900 Workman image above. At minimum, this should cast enough doubt otherwise so as to not proceed in cutting more trees without first verifying the historic and environmental impact of doing so.
Several large trees, four or five, were removed last Saturday with more removals planned for tomorrow. The tree stumps are still present and these could be ring dated.
Below is a documented from the City of Los Angeles which fails to mention any historical or environmental asset. It is, in a sense, an inter-city report to other city offices, including the mayor’s office, which misrepresents the project by failing to include obvious historical and environmental aspects:
1) Contact your Senator Kevin De Leon’s office (213) 483-9300 and Assemblyperson Miguel Santiago’s offices, (213) 620-4646, and ask them to contact the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, as soon as possible, to make sure the mayor understands the historical and environmental significance of the trees in question;
2) Ask the senator and assemblyperson to also contact Cal-EPA and advise them of the city non-compliance with the mandated requirements (CEQA, etc.)
3) Call or contact Mayor Garcetti’s office ( https://www.lamayor.org/contact-0 ) and let them know that you want the mayor to know what is happening — it is most likely he is not aware that the city is tearing down trees planted by a former mayor over 120 years ago.
4) Call City Councilman Jose Huizar’s office, (323) 526-9332, and let them know you are against the cutting down of these trees without due process, and insist that they themselves call the Mayor Garcetti to make sure he’s ok with cutting down 120 year old trees planted by a founding mayor. He’s probably not ok with that. AND ASK FOR THE TREES TO BE RING DATED!
And that these requests be undertaken as soon as possible as the city has indicated that more trees are scheduled to be removed this coming Saturday, August 26, 2017.
MORE TO FOLLOW
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Thank you in advance for all of your assistance