Much in the same vein as the paper-mache mannequins who recently sunbathed in an abandoned dirt plot at 1st and Broadway — commentary on government-created blight in Los Angeles — a family of deer has popped up in the deserted weed patch above the Metro stop at 4th and Hill.
We've contacted Calder Greenwood, the guy behind the sunbathers, to see if he's responsible for Part II. But the similarities are glaring:
Just like the family of sunbathers, the deer trio consists of a mother, father and child.
And just like the abandoned dirt plot, this particular setting — the only strip of scrappy field that remains of Bunker Hill — is a sad, dejected product of our local government's vision for urban renewal.
In an interview with Greenwood about his sunbathers, the Los Angeles Times reported that he and his accomplice “may even have plans for other abandoned parcels around town.” Or, in the artist's words…
“… We're getting people to see things. It takes what's otherwise invisible, and it gets people to notice. It pointed out the fact that the lot was big and empty.”
Now, three deer graze on dried grass at so-called “Angels Knoll,” which is really more a balding fire hazard than a knoll.
The federal courthouse at 1st and Broadway has been “under construction” for five years and counting, while politicians bicker over its worth — making it an ideal stakeout for some street-art commentary.
In comparison, Bunker Hill isn't quite so obviously abandoned. But its development history is similarly depressing:
Populated by L.A.'s elite in the early 20th century, Bunker Hill was a garden of gorgeous old Victorians. And even when their tenants fled for the suburbs after Word War I, the mansions were converted to iconic rooming houses and flop houses for the city's poor. (One such rooming house, and the Angel's Flight railway in the background, star in 1949's Criss Cross; one reviewer wrote that it depicted L.A. as “glamorously grungy.” Swoon!)
But come 1955, development-hungry L.A. officials decided to clear these treasured old slums and replace them with skyscrapers. Half a century later, the Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project has yet to come to fruition.
Hence the awkward incline at 4th and Hill — and hence its new paper-mache inhabitants, a lovely comment on downtown's permanent state of limbo.