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Community garden might replace notorious gang hangout in Glassell Park

April 10, 2011 | 10:31 am


For years, a small house at 3304 Drew St. in Glassell Park was the center of a drug-dealing and gang intimidation network that made the two-block stretch where it sat among the scariest in all Los Angeles, authorities say.

Then police arrested the occupants — a family of career criminals — and the city declared the building a nuisance. The house was eventually bulldozed.

Now, two years later, a nonprofit group hopes to plant a community garden on the site.

On Friday, more than 20 people met at the lot to plan the garden, which is scheduled to open in mid-June.

"We're hoping for good things from this," said Paola Alquicira, 76, a native of Tlalchapa, in Guerrero, Mexico, who has lived in a cottage on Drew for 34 years. "We've never had much on this street."

The garden was the brainchild of staffers at City Councilman Eric Garcetti's office. The idea emerged after Wells Fargo & Co. donated the property to the city last fall, said Mitch O'Farrell, a Garcetti community advisor. The garden is being organized by the Los Angeles Community Garden Council, which has helped start about 80 such gardens around the county.

Read the full story: Seeds of hope to be planted in Los Angeles' notorious Drew Street neighborhood

-- San Quinones

Photo: Los Angeles police officers meet with residents of Drew Street in 2008. Credit: Los Angeles Times