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The Incredible Shrinking National Register Site
Battery Osgood-Farley Historic site under attack.

On June 27 1979 The Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur was deeded to the City of Los Angeles. An eleven section agreement and understanding was incorporated into the deed. One of the important provisions of the deed is that the City of Los Angeles was to submit a detailed Master Plan for the development and use of the land within two years of the deed. The City of Los Angeles also agreed to preserve, protect and maintain the historical integrity of the Osgood-Farley Battery, a property listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
As of today, the City of Los Angeles has failed to comply with either of these provisions of the deed. The Department seems to have confused the environmental review process with the master plan process. The sole document "proving" the existence of a "Master Plan" is a map that was incorporated in the 1990 Negative Declaration prepared for Phase II of Angel's Gate Park. A map that fails to indicate that there is a 20 acre National Register Site in the park! In 1995, Department planners were still unaware that there was a National Register Site in the park.
 
The Fort MacArthur Museum Association nominated Battery Osgood-Farley for the list of Historic Cultural Monuments. The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission designated Battery Osgood-Farley as site No. 515 in 1991. In spite of the provisions of the deed and federal and local historic landmark designations, Battery Osgood-Farley remains under attack.
 
The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission approved a Korean War Memorial directly in front of Battery Osgood-Farley, amazingly, within the boundaries of Site No. 515, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks built the 1.5 million dollar Joan Milke Flores Park within the boundaries of the National Register Site without any proper review by the State Historic Preservation Office or the National Park Service.
 
Every two years the City of Los Angeles reports on their "progress" in Angel's Gate Park to the National Park Service in San Francisco. For years the Park Service has been aware that there is no Master Plan for the park. Some of the City's reports to the Park Service contain reports of developments never completed.
 
In 1995, staff of the local Councilman's office were made aware of the serious problems in Angel's Gate Park. The Councilman's office responded by transferring certain Department of Recreation and Parks staff from Angel's Gate Park, creating the position of Historic Site Curator for the Osgood-Farley Historic Site, and calling for resumes for a new committee to create a Master Plan for the park. As of this date, the committee only exists on paper and has never actually had a formal meeting. The city remains in violation of the provisions of the deed.
 
As of February, 1998, Phil Orland, Director of Angel's Gate Park is again talking about bulldozing historic buildings on the old Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur. The Los Angeles City Department of Parks and Recreation seems to have little understanding or appreciation of Federal and State historical preservation laws and the proper procedures for dealing with historic properties. It appears that the Department of Recreation and Parks in the largest city in California has no staff with any formal training in historic preservation.
 
The establishment of a real Master Plan for Angels Gate Park would be an important first step in protecting the many historical assets of the Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles from the Department of Recreation and Parks unceasing attacks. A Master Plan could incorporate a historic district that would bring together together all of the existing sites relating to the Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles. This project requires skills in research, photography, and writing. There are approximately100 buildings on the Upper Reservation to document. This project may require a grant to hire a company that specializes in this kind of work.
 
This is a high priority project for the association, as the elements of the Harbor Defenses of Los Angeles are being destroyed at an alarming rate. 

Additional Projects

     Fort MacArthur K9 Cemetery

     Hey Rookie (Gaffey Street) Pool
     Upper Reservation Barracks Structures
    
Incredible Shrinking National Register Site
     Whites Point Preservation
     Fire Control Stations Preservation
     Bolsa Chica Beach Panama Mounts

 

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Content 1994 - 2013 The Fort MacArthur Museum Association. This web site has been prepared and is maintained by the Fort MacArthur Museum Association. We welcome email asking for additional museum and historical information. Comments or suggestions concerning this web site should be addressed to the webmaster. The opinions expressed in Fort MacArthur Association publications are those of the Fort MacArthur Museum Association, contributors, and members. They do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks or any individuals employed by any department of the City of Los Angeles.
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