Terminal Island named a 'most endangered' historic place
The Port of Los Angeles’ Terminal Island was named one of America’s most endangered historic places Tuesday night by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Three pioneering tuna fish canneries and a shipyard that built Navy vessels during World Wars I and II face demolition under a land-use plan proposed by port officials, the Washington-based group said.
The tuna packing process was invented on Terminal Island, which was home to canned tuna giants Chicken of the Sea and Star-Kist. At its peak, the island employed 1,800 cannery workers and 4,800 fishermen, many of Japanese descent who were abruptly rounded up and relocated to wartime internment camps in 1942.
The long-range Terminal Island development plan calls for the realignment of streets, which would require the razing of structures that date as far back as 1903.
Trust President Stephanie Meeks called on the port to work with her organization and the Los Angeles Conservancy to revise the master plan to preserve the historic buildings. She urged officials to promote new uses for the buildings that allow for public access.
Port officials were not immediately available for comment about Terminal Island being included in the annual compilation.
The "America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places" list was released at midnight Eastern time. Also among the 11 sites singled out were a trio of Yosemite Valley bridges being considered for removal by the National Park Service. The rustic-style spans cross the Merced River in the center of the valley.
-- Bob Pool
Photo: The tuna canneries at the Port of Los Angeles' Terminal Island employed thousands of workers within cavernous warehouses. Credit: Los Angeles Times file photo