Written by Karina Muñiz
We're excited to announce this new video about the rich history and strong community of Wyvernwood Garden Apartments, the first large-scale garden apartment complex ever built in Los Angeles. Completed in 1939, Wyvernwood is located on the city’s eastside in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Massive redevelopment -- which would quadruple the site’s density -- threatens the garden apartments although they have been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Arguing that the project would destroy the historic layout and park-like setting and displace thousands of people, residents strongly oppose the complex’s demolition.
As part of the campaign to save the garden apartments, from May to November 2009, resident group Comité de la Esperanza worked with the Los Angeles Conservancy and the Los Angeles Media Collective (LA CO MEDIA) on a multimedia project funded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. In an effort to let the world know that Wyvernwood is a place that matters and deserves to be valued and preserved, residents used film, photography and text to share and document the stories of the people of Wyvernwood – their histories and contributions over the years. This joint-creative endeavor culminated in a celebration and presentation in December 2009 and, ultimately, this video. Residents themselves shot the majority of this short film which Diego Robles and Abraham Osuna of the Los Angeles Media Collective directed.
The Los Angeles Conservancy, LA Media Collective and the National Trust continues to work with residents in Wyvernwood, several of whom participated in the LA Conversación in September 2010 as part of the National Trust’s Latina/o Initiative. Stay tuned for upcoming events at Wyvernwood including a screening of the vignette in February 2011. Working in partnership with the residents, local tumblr blogger and photographer Lou Noble has also recently become involved by providing internet followers with weekly photos, updates and storytelling.
- Somos Wyvernwood website
- Wyvernwood: "Este Lugar es Importante" (This Place Matters)
- Wyvernwood Garden Apartments and the Los Angeles Conservancy
Karina Muñiz is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Los Angeles Conservancy, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.