Friday, February 10, 2012

Under Los Angeles, Under Caltrans

Caltrans is well known for being the agency that maintains, builds, owns, and operates the state’s freeway and highway system, but many are unaware of the department’s efforts to preserve the state’s heritage.

On the fourth floor of Caltrans District 7 building at 100 S. Main Street, there is a collection of bottles, pipes, Chinese stoneware, washing detergent, and much more. Although these items appear to be discarded debris left by early Angelenos, they help to us to understand what Los Angeles was like 80 to 150 years ago.

These items were found under the parking lot that was located were our building is now in the mid-2000s. Fortunately, our Cultural Resources Unit which is comprised of archaeologists, historians, environmental planners, preservationists, to name a few, were able to excavate and preserve these precious items that help us to understand our California heritage..