d o m e s i n l o s a n g e l e s m o n d a y s
The Dome Village in Los Angeles is being dismantled this week, one of the unfortunate results of the rise in property values in downtown. For those who don’t know of its existence, it is a small community of spherical fiberglass domes used to provide housing for the homeless away from Skid Row. It was built in 1993 to provide affordable transitional housing, and is visible right off the side of the 110 Freeway. With the construction of the new Staples Center nearby a few years ago, and the current plan underway to build a massive mixed use commercial/residential complex in that area, the rent the owners of the Dome Village (also called Justiceville) were paying jumped 700%. As an experiment in creating a community that could positively affect the lives of people living on the street in LA, the village was a resounding success – it even produced a cricket team (yeah, cricket!) that went on a brief tour of England to play. Its a crime that no city organization has stepped in to save this project, and these people’s homes, and that the jump in real-estate values will simply destroy this vision of community. Development in LA has been a major force in pushing the homeless from place to place in downtown, and has yet to help provide any form of solution to the massive problem of homelessness in the city. Its sad to see a successful project like Dome City vanish, putting people back on the street, and putting an end to one of the more creative solutions to housing the urban poor.
Also, read about it in the LA Times
The other big domes in LA, the Griffith Observatory, are set to re-open this week after four years of extensive renovation. Perched atop the foothills of Los Feliz, Griffith affords tremendous views of the city spread out at its feet at night, and is one of the most beautiful places in Los Angeles. I last went up there the day it closed for repairs, and we will dispatch a team to check out its reopening, just as soon as we can get up there.
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