DO YOU SEE? - S/S TEE - WHITE
The Salt Box was a house built in the early 1880s in the Bunker Hill section of Los Angeles, California. In the late 19th century, Bunker Hill was one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Los Angeles and was the site of many elegant Victorian homes. Though not as elegant as many of its Victorian neighbors, the Salt Box was cherished by architecture students for the simplicity of its design.
In the 1950s, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency adopted a redevelopment plan for the Bunker Hill area. When the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board was formed in August 1962, the Salt Box was one of the first structures designated as a Historic Cultural Monument. By 1968, all of the Victorian homes of Bunker Hill Avenue had been demolished, except for the Salt Box and a second home, called the Castle. In August 1968, the Los Angeles Times urban affairs editor, Ray Herbert, wrote an article indicating that the two homes were to be demolished the following month to make room for a $500 million skyscraper development. Carl Mason, president of the Southern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects said, "If it was just these two buildings, it wouldn't be so disturbing, but it's symptomatic of a lack of respect for our past — of no one giving a damn about our heritage."
In September 1968, with demolition set for October 1, 1968, the Salt Box and the Castle were saved when the Los Angeles Recreation and Park Commission voted to move the two structures to city-owned land in Montecito Heights where the Heritage Square Museum was eventually built. Finally, in March 1969, the Salt Box and the Castle were moved to their new home in Montecito Heights to become center-pieces for the planned Heritage Square. Both structures were badly deteriorated after years of neglect, and a fundraising campaign was launched to raise money to restore the two homes. In October 1969, just seven months after the move, both structures were destroyed in a fire ignited by vandals. The Los Angeles Times reported that the two structures had been invaded by vandals and youths who used them for parties since they were relocated.
This is the history of Los Angeles, the history of a city that cannibalizes itself, the history of forgetting. Gentrification is a worldwide disease. Do you see what I see?