By Jon Weisman
Wednesday’s 8:30 p.m. episode of the KCET series “Lost L.A.” will explore the history of the view of Los Angeles from Chavez Ravine before Dodger Stadium was built, and how the Dodgers now plan to help restore the original view.
In this episode, Lost L.A. explores the various ways Southern California’s inhabitants have used the hills around Dodger Stadium. The Elysian Hills once stood where the now-iconic Dodger Stadium hosts legendary baseball. Raised up by tectonic forces andcarved into deep ravines by the ancient precursor of the Los Angeles River, these highlands meant many things to many people long before Sandy Koufax threw Dodger Stadium’s first pitch, and even before the first residents moved into Chavez Ravine. The region’s native Tongva Indians escaped floods there, and later settlers quarried stone in the hills to build what would become an American city.
Viewers will discover a lithographic view of nineteenth-century L.A. as drawn from an Elysian hilltop, the vanished neighborhood of Chavez Ravine, and a massive construction project that reshaped the land into a modern baseball palace. Created by filmmakers Ben Sax, Javier Barboza, and Amy Lee Ketchum.
Dodger senior vice president of planning and development Janet Marie Smith is among those interviewed. The episode will also stream at KCET’s “Lost L.A.” website.