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Chinatown to Make Way for Union Station

February 22, 2010 |  2:00 am

Feb. 22, 1920, Chinatown 


Feb. 22, 1920: Guy W. Finney, the author of “Angel City in Turmoil,” touches on the Chinese massacre of 1871 in exploring the changes ahead for Chinatown, which is being moved to make way for Union Station.

Union Station didn’t open for 19 years, but large municipal projects move slowly in Los Angeles. In fact, the concept of a union terminal was proposed by Charles Mulford Robinson as early as 1907 and plans to eradicate Chinatown and Sonoratown date to 1906 under the “City Beautiful” philosophy. Never heard of Charles Mulford Robinson? You can thank him for straightening out Spring Street and placing City Hall there. He also advocated lining the city’s streets with jacarandas.  

Here’s an interesting quote explaining one reason for putting the depot in Chinatown: Richard Sachse, chief engineer of the Union Station project, says: "Probably the most important argument in favor of the Plaza site is the fact that it is adjacent to the future north and south subway."

What’s this? A subway?

Aug. 11, 1918, Subway
Aug. 11, 1918, Subway 
Aug. 11, 1918: Yes, a subway. The Times reports a plan to build one in downtown Los Angeles to reduce traffic congestion.