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Chicano Moratorium Sites, Archery Range & Neighborhood Up For ‘Historic Places’ Recognition

August 13, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah
This building was once the HQ for the Brown Berets. Photo: CA State Parks Office of Historic Preservation

Tomorrow, the California State Historical Resources Commission will consider 15 nominations for federal historic designation and 13 for state historic designation. There are a handful of places from Los Angeles County on the list, including three that relate to the Chicano Moratorium in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

You can watch tomorrow’s meeting on CAL-SPAN or via Zoom at 9 a.m. Below, we’ve rounded up the nominations from Los Angeles County. All of them are nominated for the National Register of Historic Places. See the full list of nominations and more information here.

Chicano Moratorium March December 20, 1969 (Latinos in Twentieth Century California Multiple Property Submission) 

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The Chicano Moratorium was a movement against the Vietnam War, in which Mexican-Americans were dying in disproportionate numbers. The first demonstration on December 20, 1969 saw 1,000 participants march from Five Points Memorial in the City of Los Angeles to Obregon Park in unincorporated East Los Angeles.

National Chicano Moratorium March August 29, 1970 (Latinos in Twentieth Century California Multiple Property Submission) 

This march was much larger. According to the nomination: “Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 protestors from across the country gathered in front of the East Los Angeles Civic Center and marched down East Third Street, Atlantic Boulevard, and Whittier Boulevard to a rally in Laguna Park. The march was an antiwar demonstration channeling anti-Vietnam War sentiment to draw attention to domestic issues affecting the Chicano community.”

The rally was peaceful until law enforcement clashed with protestors and killed four people, including Los Angeles Times journalist Rubén Salazar, who was struck with a tear gas canister a deputy fired into the Silver Dollar Bar where Salazar was taking a break.

Brown Beret Headquarters (Latinos in Twentieth Century California Multiple Property Submission)

This two-story building in Boyle Heights was built in 1923. From June of 1969 through June of 1970, the Brown Berets used it as their headquarters. The Brown Berets formed in 1960s L.A. to advocate for Chicano rights. The original name of the group was Young Citizens for Community Action, then later Young Chicanos for Community Action. Brown Berets came from the hats they wore. 

According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Brown Berets moved their headquarters several times to avoid law enforcement, as their meeting spaces were often targets for raids. This building was their headquarters during the planning of the Chicano Moratorium.

Pasadena Field Archery Range

This seven-acre archery range in Lower Arroyo Park consists of 28 targets and six practice butts. The Pasadena Roving Archers built it in 1936 and it’s been in use ever since. Per its application, “Through its continued use, the archery range represents the enduring popularity of the sport, especially in Southern California where it was developed during the early to middle part of the twentieth century.”

Wilshire Vista West Historic District

This one’s a Mid-City neighborhood, consisting of 113 homes and 8 other buildings. The homes were built between 1927 and 1947 and were designed in Period Revival, Streamline Moderne, Minimal Traditional, and MId-Century Modern styles. 

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