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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Visual persistence of railroad abandonment in Los Angeles, California
by Jones, Eric M., M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2011, 106; 1499171
Abstract (Summary)

The historic industrial district in downtown Los Angeles, California, is distinguished by the presence of a dense urban rail network that once served a utilitarian landscape of production. Reflective of the national trends of de-industrialization and urban redevelopment, the study area has been systematically abandoned by the railroad companies. Utilizing repeat photography, historic maps and geographic information system (GIS) programs, this study traces landscape change in the industrial district over approximately 30 years and addresses the following questions: (1) What is the full extent of the former rail network? (2) How have former railroad rights-of-way been adapted for contemporary uses? (3) And in what ways does the former railroad infrastructure visually persist in the contemporary landscape? This study suggests that visual persistence can be categorized into distinct types which represent dominant structural characteristics within the landscape. Secondly, there are additional cultural phenomena that defy clear categorization yet provide strong visual indicators of cultural change. These spaces continue to shape land-use patterns in contemporary Los Angeles while remaining strong visual reminders of the city's industrial past.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Curtis, James R.
School: California State University, Long Beach
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Urban planning
Publication Number: 1499171
ISBN: 978-1-124-85225-6
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