Belvedere Park – Los Angeles CA
In 1942, the Works Projects Administration (WPA) constructed 60-acre Soledad Park in East Los Angeles, CA.
“From the 1940s to the 1960s,” the L.A. Conservancy notes, “Belvedere Park (renamed in 1949) was known for hosting the games of the local Mexican American baseball leagues in the northern field, ‘El Porvenir.’ The park helped to foster a sense of community that led to the baseball players’ involvement in local political and labor organizations, and the teams helped sustain the players’ traditional language and culture.”
The construction of the Pomona Freeway in the 1960s divided the park in half: 31-acre Belvedere Park to the north and the East L.A. Civic Center’s 29-acre green space to the south. “The decision to construct the freeway in this location,” the L.A. Conservancy continues, “reflects the absence of environmental protections during this era, as well as the restricted rights of the local community in shaping land use policies.”
Considered the “recreational heart of East Los Angeles,” Belvedere Park presently encompasses a baseball diamond built by the Dodgers Foundation and one of the top skate parks in North America, in addition to an array of other facilities and outdoor recreation areas.
Note: From 1939 to the end of the program in 1943, the WPA was known as the Works Projects Administration rather than the original name, Works Progress Administration.
David Kipen, "How the New Deal Continues to Shape L.A. 90 Years On" (KCET)
Los Angeles Conservancy, "Belvedere Park"
Project originally submitted by Greta Marchesi on June 4, 2014.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish & Natalie McDonald.
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