i had some time to kill waiting to pick up my aunt from lax today since her flight was delayed. somehow, i found myself in manchester square.
i just wanted to find a spot to park and read, and as i drove around i noticed a lot of fences. a lot. then i remember reading about ghost towns recently popping up lately because of proposed lax expansions that have gone by the wayside over the years. i thought this was supposed to be an expansion of the north runways of lax.
it turns out there really hasn’t been concrete plan for this neighborhood. as dan weikel wrote in the la times on oct. 27, 2013:
Nancy Castles, an airport spokeswoman, said the city developed a voluntary purchase program in 1999 to replace soundproofing after a majority of Manchester Square property owners filed a petition with LAX officials. The approach, she said, has provided flexibility during the planning process and made land available for future airport projects.
Airport officials acknowledge that no plan to reuse the land has ever been finalized. During the administration of Mayor Richard Riordan, a cargo facility was discussed. Mayor James Hahn later proposed a giant transportation/check-in center, part of an ambitious LAX master plan challenged in court.
Planners are now eyeing other possibilities, such as a consolidated car rental facility, additional parking and a public transportation hub to accommodate light rail trains and a people mover to serve passenger terminals. Construction could be at least a decade away, assuming those plans proceed at all.
so it was cheaper for LAX to buy out the residents one-by-one rather than mitigate the noise from the airport.
also, as curbed pointed out, the neighborhood was used as a setting for a disaster movie.
some surprising things:
* there is still street sweeping. in the still occupied part of the ‘hood, i was looking for a place to sit and read. because i didn’t want to make a u-turn or three-point turn, i kept driving further and further into the heart of what was once a neighborhood.
* they just repaved. when i finally turned around as i was taking some of these pictures, i noticed by tire marks what seemed to be newly-laid asphalt. i didn’t and still don’t know what to make of that.
it sounds like there will be plans for this ‘hood after all. as laura j. nelson reported on the la times on june 26, it will be the rental car hub of the newly-approved $200 million light-rail station and spur for the airport.
manchester square is far from the eerily picturesque seaside ghost ‘hood of surfridge which is just west of lax. but that abandonment in the ’60s and ’70s, a long period of time according to our collective unconsciousness. but manchester square started in the last 20 years and is still in the process of happening which i find fascinating.