Saturday, August 11, 2012
During the construction of the AT&T offices and the new Lincoln Ave., workers found Chinese pottery and other artifacts from Chinatown. But those were the bad old days of "Project Alpha," and the builders couldn't be bothered with the state laws that protect archeological sites. They conveniently called it debris and tossed it aside or took it home.
But MOST of the artifacts are still sitting there, sealed up all this time under the parking lot!
I'd suggest that at the very least, there should be archaeologists observing the site during excavation, so they can stop work as things are discovered and document/recover what's there. That's pretty standard practice. (And perhaps some of the archaeologists and environmental engineers who read this blog can tell if I'm right in thinking that CEQA requires at least this much.)
And ideally, whatever is built on this site would not only blend in architecturally to the surrounding historic neighborhood but would also pay tribute to the areas' early Chinese settlers. Perhaps a decorative arch, a garden, or something could be included to reflect the history of the location.
"Many Chinese engaged in truck farming northeast of Anaheim and their vegetable wagons were a familiar sight," wrote Anaheim historian Leo Friis. "Actually, Anaheim was a good place for Chinese to live. Its citizens never carried to extremes the prejudice found in many other towns."
Millard Sheets' local history mural (detail shown below) at the old Home Savings building in Anaheim depicts Chinese men working in the local vineyards.
Posted by Chris Jepsen at 8/11/2012