Velvet Barrios pp 125-139 | Cite as

Revisiting the Chavez Ravine

Baseball, Urban Renewal, and the Gendered Civic Culture of Postwar Los Angeles
  • Eric Avila
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


Nestled adjacent to the corporate citadel that is downtown Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium came into existence through a highly contentious process fraught with bitter animosity among competing social interests. Oblivious, or perhaps indifferent to the fact that the Chavez Ravine had sustained a tight-knit, predominantly Spanish-speaking, working-class community for decades, city officials identified that area as “blighted” as early as the late 1930s. Because of its proximity to downtown Los Angeles and its density relative to other neighborhoods of the city, the Chavez Ravine was slated for the construction of a massive public housing project, drawing upon federal funds made available through the 1949 Taft-EUender Wagner Act. This act, which enabled the replacement of so-called slums with public housing in cities throughout the nation, reflected a New Deal commitment to government-subsidized housing in the wake of a dire housing shortage in the aftermath of World War II. Parcel by parcel, the City Housing Authority of Los Angeles between 1950 and 1951 cleared the Chavez Ravine of its inhabitants, who abandoned their property with the promise of new and improved quarters.1


Public Housing Black Community Urban Renewal Postwar Period City Official 
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Copyright information

© Alicia Gaspar de Alba 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Avila

There are no affiliations available

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