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Leonard Nadel photographs and other material relating to housing and urban redevelopment in Los Angeles, 1947-1998 (bulk 1947-1957)

Nadel, Leonard 1916-1990.

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (2002.M.42 ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Leonard Nadel photographs and other material relating to housing and urban redevelopment in Los Angeles, 1947-1998 (bulk 1947-1957)
  • Author/Creator: Nadel, Leonard 1916-1990.
  • Creation Date: 1947-1998 (bulk 1947-1957)
  • Biographical/Historical Note: The American photojournalist Leonard Nadel (1916-1990) recieved a bachelor's degree from City College of New York, trained at the Army Signal Corps Photographic Center, and received a master's degree in education from Teachers College, Columbia University before moving to Los Angeles to study photography at the Art Center College of Design, during wihich time he began to document public housing in Los Angeles, focusing on Pueblo del Rio and Aliso Village. On the strength of this work Nadel was hired in 1949 by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to make a photographic record of living conditions in both the slums and the new housing projects that were built in Los Angeles during and immediately after World War II. He was employed by HACLA until 1953, after which he worked as a freelance photographer, producing documentary work for various agencies and magazines such as National geographic, Look, Forbes, Life, and Paris Match. For over two decades he was Business week's primary west coast photographer.
  • Arrangement: Organized in two series: Series I. Projects related to housing and urban redevelopment, 1947-1998, undated; Series II. Unpublished books, 1947-1994, undated.
  • Physical Desc.: 8.75 linear ft. (14 boxes).
    1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) : 1/2 in. ; original..
  • Summary: Consisting primarily of photographic material by Leonard Nadel from 1947 to 1957, the collection records early efforts by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to promote integrated public housing for the city's growing multi-ethnic population, and also documents several areas of the city that the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) had targeted for commercial revitalization. Nadel's black-and-white negatives, contact prints and two unpublished photographic books form the bulk of the collection, supplemented by handwritten notes and related documents.
    Series I consists primarily of material that Nadel produced while working for HACLA, and on related urban development, public housing, and slum documentation projects. In addition to documentation of Los Angeles public housing projects such as Avalon Gardens, Ramona Gardens, and Basilone Homes, there are photographic surveys, sometimes block by block, of the city's slums and historic areas targeted for demolition and revitalization, including the Civic Center area, Bunker Hill, Elysian Park, and Chávez Ravine. Several of these projects were championed by or carried out under the auspices of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). There are photographs of the planning meetings of city officials and architects (including Richard Neutra, Robert Alexander, and Lloyd Wright), urban redevelopment commission tours, hearings, and conferences. Also included are a few photographs of slums in New York, as well as a small amount of material related to Frank Wilkinson, the assistant director of HACLA, who was fired from the organization in 1953 after refusing to disclose his political affiliations to the California Anti-Subversive Committee, a copy of the The 8th, 9th, and 10th consolidated annual report of the Housing Authority of Los Angeles illustrated with photographs by Nadel and other HACLA photographers, and a copy of And ten thousand more, the 1949 University of Southern California student film produced for HACLA.
    Series II contains Nadel's photographic materials and notes on Pueblo del Rio and Aliso Village, his largest photographic projects of the late 1940s. He documented Pueblo del Rio in 1947 and 1948, and then went on to photograph Aliso Village in 1948 and 1949. Also included are the two large leather-bound volumes he compiled based on this material. Through photographs and text, these books tell in detail the stories of the two housing projects, focusing not just on the architecture and layout of the complexes, but also recording the family lives and project-supported social networks of the tenants. In 1949 he made a trip to Washington, D.C. and New York City to meet with supporters and potential publishers for his book Aliso Village, U.S.A. The related correspondence and Nadel's meeting notes are included in this series. Although there was interest in these photographic projects, the books were never published.
  • Language: English
  • Notes: Pueblo del Rio was an all African-American housing development that once thrived in South Central Los Angeles. Built in 1940 for African-American defense industry workers, the mid-century modernist project located at 52nd Street and Long Beach Avenue, was designed by the Southeast Housing Architects, which included Richard Neutra, Gordon Kaufman, Adrian Wilson, Paul R. Williams, and the firm of Wurdeman & Becket.
    Aliso Village was the first integrated public housing project in Los Angeles. Built in the Boyle Heights area known as The Flats, the the garden city-style project was designed in 1942 by the Housing Group Architects led by Ralph Flewelling and including Lloyd Wright.
    The collection was digitized in 2011-2013 with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
  • Reproduction Note: Electronic reproduction. Los Angeles, Calif. : The Getty Research Institute, 2011-2013. Digitized in 2011-2013 with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
  • Form/Genre: Aerial photographs -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Black-and-white negatives -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Gelatin silver prints -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Panoramas -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Videocassettes -- California -- Los Angeles -- 20th century
    Photographs, Original
  • Subjects: Neutra, Richard Joseph, 1892-1970 Wilkinson, Frank, 1914-2006 Wright, Lloyd, 1890-1978 Public housing -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century Slums -- California -- Los Angeles Slums -- New York (State) -- New York Urban renewal -- California -- Los Angeles -- History -- 20th century Aliso Village (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Description and travel Boyle Heights (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Description and travel Bunker Hill (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Description and travel Chávez Ravine (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Description and travel Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- 20th century Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Description and travel Los Angeles Region (Calif.) -- Social conditions -- 20th century Ramona Gardens (Los Angeles, Calif.) -- Description and travel
  • Contributors: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, California.
  • ID/Accession Number: 2588-838
    2002.M.42
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers. Videocassette tape unavailable until reformatted.
  • OCLC Record Number: 84944340

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