L.A. as Subject's latest contribution to KCET's SoCal Focus blog looks at a series of hills near Los Angeles' historic core that have disappeared over the years:
Los Angeles is not a city short on hills. The Hollywood Sign, one of the city's most iconic structures, gazes down at the city from its perch on Mount Lee. Every summer, cars snake their way up the hills of Elysian Park to Dodger Stadium. Nearly every autumn, the city turns its attention to a range of nearby hills whose chaparral cover is reduced to ashes. A series of hills closer to the historic center of Los Angeles, however, are far less visible today than they once were.
The eventual site of the original Spanish pueblo was chosen, in part, for its proximity to several hills that would afford a defensive advantage to the frontier town should it come under attack. In later years, the hills were home to the city's leading citizens and important civic buildings. In many cases, development, industry, and traffic have flattened, lowered, or even hauled away the hills, seen as obstacles to geographic expansion of the city or to the free flow of people and goods.