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Views Highlight South Park's Changing Personality

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, May 26, 2008, at 07:51PM
Juxtaposition Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Construction of L.A. Live's hotel is framed behind the Salvation Army's Regional Headquarters.

Nowhere is the changing nature of South Park more evident than at the corner of James M. Wood Blvd. and Francisco street. Located on the corner there is the Salvation Army's regional headquarters, a cluster of old buildings hugging the one-way street. Looming in the background is the rising steel for L.A. Live's skyscraper hotel, soon to be a symbol of what South Park has become.

The Salvation Army's South Park presence goes back to the 1920's, when the organization decided to build its regional headquarters opened at the intersection of 9th street (since renamed to James M. Wood Blvd.) and Cottage place. The building's cornerstone was laid on October 28th, 1923, and the completed structure was dedicated on March 13th, 1924.

At the time, the neighborhood around the headquarters site was a working-class residential one, much the same as the neighborhoods just west of the 110 today.

Today, the Salvation Army buildings sit one block north of L.A. Live, AEG's $2.5 billion entertainment complex. The sites along 9th between the 110 freeway and Figueroa have remained unchanged in Downtown's revitalization, but one has to assume that won't be the case forever.

For the moment, the site's a living history lesson, a reminder of South Park past with a view of South Park's future.

_Historical dates compiled from L.A. Times reports.

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History Lesson

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