The Los Angeles State Historic Park, most recently known as the Cornfield or Chinatown Yard property, is a 32-acre site linked to the long and varied history of the city and its diverse people. The site has historical significance and associations at many levels to the Los Angeles story, including its very existence as a State Park, due to the efforts of one of the most diverse coalitions of local citizens, activists, and environmental justice advocates ever assembled. The story of this community effort to protect the land from industrial development and save it as a public park reflects not only the statewide significance of the site, but its opportunity to become a venue for study, celebration, civic engagement, and recreation for the residents and guests of the City of Los Angeles.
The Park is located within half a mile from El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, on what has been recorded as communal agricultural land during the pueblo’s early years. At its northern end, the site is about 150 feet from the Los Angeles River. Within one mile of this once fertile property is the last recorded location of Yang-na, one of the largest Tongva villages in the area. Surrounding the Park are the historic and ethnically diverse communities of Lincoln Heights, Elysian Park, Solano Canyon, Chinatown, Chavez Ravine, and William Mead Homes.
The City of Los Angeles long ago recognized the local significance of the site and dedicated it as Cultural Monument #82 for its role as the Southern Pacific’s River Station railroad yard. Yet the cultural significance of the property and adjacent area is much more than the site’s use as a railroad yard. The Park provides a place where people can come together to understand and learn from the broader story and innumerable viewpoints of the fascinating, influential, and sometimes painful history of Los Angeles.