Trailer park bids for
September 17, 2002
Posted: 9:32 PM EDT (0132 GMT)
John Agnew stands
outside his trailer at the Monterey Trailer Park.
LOS ANGELES, California
(Reuters) -- A Los Angeles
trailer park could soon be joining the world-famous Hollywood sign and the
city's Spanish Mission-style Union Station as a protected historic-cultural
The Cultural Heritage
Commission has asked the city council to give the 1.7 acre Monterey Trailer
Park, which dates back to the early 1920s, monument status because of its place
in the history of the great American road trip.
"It is not your
typical trailer park," said Ken Bernstein, director of preservation for
the Los Angeles Conservancy which is backing the bid.
"It began as an
auto camp. It was a precursor of the motel, a place where car travelers to
California could come and were offered temporary housing in this collection of
landscaped camp sites and cabins," Bernstein said.
The trailer park, on a
hilly and tree-filled site outside Pasadena, still has two 1920s Craftsman
style houses, the original bathing and laundry building, and a structure
thought to have been one of 10 original guest cabins. It is now home to about
30 people in 20 permanent trailers and mobile homes, many of them dating back
to the 1950s.
The site was originally
called the Monterey Auto Camp and was opened just as Americans were beginning
to take their first long road trips in Model T's, before the first modern motels
"There are other
trailer parks all around southern California, but we think this is perhaps the
most unique. And there are no other historic monuments in Los Angeles that are
auto camps or trailer parks," said Bernstein.
The city council is
expected to vote on the designation within the next few weeks.