A parks, recreation and transit advocacy group has sued the city of Los Angeles to stop construction of a war memorial at the site of L.A.'s birthplace, El Pueblo de Los Angeles.
The plaintiff, City Project, argues that construction of the Eugene A. Obregon Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial at the Pueblo's Father Serra Park would infringe upon the grounds of an ancient Native American. The organization states the spot also has historic importance for some of L.A.'s Chinese-American residents.
City Project is also concerned that the concrete memorial to Obregon and other Latino war heroes will take up park space in an area that desperately needs it. A 5-foot-high plaster wall covered displaying the names of nearly 3,500 medal recipients has already been erected, according to Associated Press.
The organization filed suit Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
According to City Project: “Father Serra Park in El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, a one acre oasis of grass and trees in the park starved heart of Los Angeles, is the rich historical site of (1) the Native American Tongva or Gabrieleño village of Yangna; (2) the birthplace of Los Angeles; (3) the Lugo House; (4) Old Chinatown; (5) the Chinatown Massacre of 1871; and (6) the first institution of higher learning in Southern California, St. Vincent's College (which is now Loyola Marymount University).”
The group says the city did not obtain proper approvals and reviews in order to start construction at the park just north of downtown.