photos by- me- rick castro- copywriter 2017
Los Angeles State Historic Park
is a state park unit in development within the Chinatown neighborhood of Los Angeles. Also known as the Cornfield, the former brownfield consists of a long open space between Spring Street and the tracks of the Metro Gold Line.
Located outside the main commercial and residential area in the northeast portion of Chinatown, the area is adjacent and southeast of Elysian Park neighborhood.
This former site of the Southern Pacific Transportation Company's River Station (1876−1901) is considered the "Ellis Island of Los Angeles" where new arrivals from the east first disembarked. Corn leaking from train cars and sprouting along the tracks gave rise to the nickname The Cornfield.
The 32-acre site was established as a California state park in 2001.
In 2001, a five-foot section of the historical Zanja Madre irrigation canal was uncovered.In 2005, the former industrial site was transformed into a productive cornfield for one season as an art project called "Not a Cornfield."
In 2006, a contest was held in conjunction with the California State Parks Foundation to select a design for the park. The preliminary park opened on September 23 of the same year. Hargreaves and Associates of San Francisco ultimately won the contest.
Development of the park has been slow. California's budget deficit forced officials to scale back plans for the park in 2010, earmarking $18 million instead of the planned $55 million. Plans for a bridge/water fountain, theme gardens, an upscale restaurant, and an ecology center with restored wetlands were tabled, while construction of a visitor center, entryway, and walkway overlooking an excavation of the railroad roundhouse is still planned to begin in late 2013. Other planned amenities include a campfire circle, restrooms, and a parking lot with space for food trucks. The tabled features may be added later if funding becomes available.
Numerous community fairs and gatherings have been held in the park. It also contains several plaques that relate the history of the Cornfield, Chinatown, and downtown Los Angeles.
On April 22nd, 2017- Los Angeles State Historical Park officially opened to the public.