Not A Cornfield

Art project near downtown Los Angeles in 2005.

“With this project I have undertaken to clean 32 acres of brownfield and bring in more than 1,500 truck loads of earth from elsewhere in order to prepare this rocky and mixed terrain for the planting of a million seeds. This art piece redeems a lost fertile ground, transforming what was left from the industrial era into a renewed space for the public.”
—LA Artist Lauren Bon

The site has a long cultural history: it is the last recorded location of Yang-na, one of the largest Tongva villages; it functioned as a communal agricultural land during the early years of El Pueblo de Los Angeles; it was host to the Zanja Madre watercourses that irrigated the growth of the city; and it served as the Southern Pacific River Station railroad yard. The site takes its name from the stalks of corn that sprouted along the rail yard’s tracks, from seeds that spilled from hopper cars whose destination was the Capitol Milling Co. adjacent to the railroad yard. More here.

The project is not without some controversey as some have complained that the project  has delayed the developement of a park and some locals say it has nothing to do with the  surrounding cultural community. “All I see is money,” said one city worker who identified himself as Steve. “Three million dollars? You could’ve bought a Van Gogh for that…. You could’ve put something useful in there.”

The 32 acre “uncornfield” will become Los Angeles Historic Park and hopes to be a model of urban community “reclamation” in a city best known for automobile dependancy and urban sprawl.

Not A Cornfield


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