Taylor Yard, Los Angeles

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Taylor Yard is a post-industrial site, a former railway station and classification yard in Los Angeles, California, and the former headquarters of Southern Pacific Railroad operations in Southern California. The site was purchased by the Southern Pacific in 1911 and continually reshaped, remade, and replanned over the course of the early 20th century for the purposes of inspection, repair, and storage of freight cars on the Southern Pacific Fruit Express line.[1][page needed]

It is now the site of the Rio de Los Angeles State Park and the Bowtie projects,[2] along with the new Metrolink maintenance facility located on the southern end of the former yard grounds.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Taylor Yard was established in 1911 on the previous site of Taylor Feed Mill (from which the yard gets its name). It was rebuilt in 1949. Competition from the trucking industry and the closure of American manufacturing plants led to the decline of the Yard after the 1950s. In 1983, an average of 25,000 railroad cars moved through Taylor Yard and 1,200 workers were employed in its operations, down from 5,000 in the 1950s.[3] Southern Pacific closed the terminal on November 14, 1985, citing declining business. Workers and union leaders cited a merger plan between Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railway, which had been sharply criticized by the U.S. Justice Department, but endorsed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.[4]

The Southern Pacific closed the facilities and bulldozed the site in 1988.[5] In 1991, the County acquired the eastern portion of the site. In 2017 the city acquired G-2, the northern portion of it.

Ecology[edit]

Taylor Yard sits adjacent to the Los Angeles River. As the river passes Taylor Yard, it flows through the Glendale Narrows. This portion of the river has an unlined channel bottom due to the high groundwater table. The soft-bottom includes riparian vegetation, open water, and sand bars, which are supported by year-round flows.[6]

Architecture[edit]

Among the most iconic features of the site was the Roundhouse and the Dayton Tower. The Dayton is the only building of the site that has not been demolished. It has been relocated three times. [7]

By the 1950s, Taylor Yard was the central node in the freight network into and out of Los Angeles for Southern Pacific, as the classification yard grown had grown in complexity and size concurrent with increases both manufacturing and the overall population of Los Angeles. The Classification Yard was split into three operational zones, "with the receiving unit at the west end, then the classification unit, and at the east end the departure unit." [8]

Cartography[edit]

Soil mapping reveals four areas of potential concern (AOPCs) which exhibit high concentrations of lead, hydrocarbons, arsenic, and antimony. The first AOPC area surrounds the former diesel turntable, the second envelops the former fueling and sanding tracks, the third sits along the southern portion of the former roundhouse, and the fourth is located near the diesel shops.[9]

"Results of environmental investigations conducted at Taylor Yard to date indicate that subsurface soils in the Active Yard generally consist of fill material extending from the ground surface to a depth of approximately seven feet below ground surface (bgs), and sands and silty sands with minor discontinuous clayey sands extending from seven to 35 feet bgs." [10] Additionally, there is an extensive infrastructure consisting of thirty onsite wells, twenty-two of which are located in the active yard, to monitor the quantity and quality of groundwater on-site.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mullaly, Larry; Petty, Bruce (2002). The Southern Pacific in Los Angeles, 1873-1996.
  2. ^ "Taylor Yard/ Rio de Los Angeles State Park". The River Project. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Life in the Yard: Even in Computer Age, Railroading's Dirty Work. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Oct 2, 1983; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. GB1
  4. ^ 'Eerie Sight' Formerly Bustling Southern Pacific Railroad Terminal Now Stands 'Quiet as a Cemetery,' a Victim of Technology. Gordon, Larry. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Nov 14 1985; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. OC_A13
  5. ^ 'Eerie Sight' Formerly Bustling Southern Pacific Railroad Terminal Now Stands 'Quiet as a Cemetery,' a Victim of Technology. Gordon, Larry. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Nov 14 1985; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times pg. OC_A13
  6. ^ Rio De Los Angeles State Park Preliminary General Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report. Department of Parks and Recreation. California State Parks; March 2005; pg. 2-8
  7. ^ "Cypress Park rail yard tower takes an 1,800-foot-long trip | The Eastsider LA". The Eastsider LA. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  8. ^ John H. Dunn, ed. (January 1950). "Car Retarders Facilitate Southern Yard Operations at Los Angeles". Railway Signaling and Communications. Simmons-Boardman Publishing Co.
  9. ^ CDM Smith (February 3, 2014). Final Remedial Action Plan (Report). Union Pacific Railroad Company.
  10. ^ California State University; Miller Brooks Environmental, Inc. (June 2002). Taylor Yard and Los Angeles River Preliminary Groundwater and Surface Water Study (Report). The California Coastal Conservancy.
  11. ^ California State University; Miller Brooks Environmental, Inc. (June 2002). Taylor Yard and Los Angeles River Preliminary Groundwater and Surface Water Study (Report). The California Coastal Conservancy.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilkins, Coe (August 24, 1958). "Taylor Yard Is Key to SP Freight Operation". Los Angeles Times.
  • Birkinshaw, Jack (July 29, 1973). "Washing, Inspection, Repair, Redirection: Sprawling Railyard Bustles with Activity". Los Angeles Times.
  • Quinn, James (July 29, 1979). "Grimy Railroad Yard Seems Heaven to Some". Los Angeles Times.
  • Quinn, James (July 12, 1979). "Rail Yard's Old-Timers Keep on Tracking". Los Angeles Times.
  • Quinn, James (July 29, 1979). "Grimy Railroad Yard Seems Heaven to Some". Los Angeles Times.
  • Smith, Doug (October 2, 1983). "Life in the Yard: Even in Computer Age, Railroading's Dirty Work". Los Angeles Times.
  • Gordon, Larry (November 14, 1985). "'Eerie Sight': Formerly Bustling Southern Pacific Railroad Terminal". Los Angeles Times.
  • Gordon, Larry (November 17, 1985). "Economy, Modernization Close Once Bustling Railroad Yard". Los Angeles Times.
  • Sneiderman, Phil (July 11, 1991). "Meeting Will Discuss Cleanup of Rail Facility". Los Angeles Times.
  • Sneiderman, Phil (July 18, 1991). "County Has Own Plans for Taylor Yard Land". Los Angeles Times.
  • Sneiderman, Phil (July 25, 1991). "County Agency Admits It Should Have Told of Plan To Buy Glassell Park Land". Los Angeles Times.
  • Kazmin, Amy Louise (October 31, 1991). "Another Agency Enters Battle for Use of Rail Yard". Los Angeles Times.
  • Klarner, Anne (April 22, 1993). "Monitoring of Cleanup Urged at Taylor Yard". Los Angeles Times.
  • Gordon, Larry (March 1, 1998). "River Parks, Shops Proposed". Los Angeles Times.
  • Hawthorne, Christopher (June 18, 2016). "Frank Gehry's Controversial LA River plan get cautious, low-key rollout". Los Angeles Times.

Coordinates: 34°5′55.36″N 118°14′16.96″W / 34.0987111°N 118.2380444°W / 34.0987111; -118.2380444