Blogging a century of history in L.A.'s Skid Row
September 8, 2011 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Blogging a century of history in L.A.'s Skid Row
The 1947project time travel blog is thrilled to announce the launch of a very special new series, The Union Rescue Mission at In SRO Land. Past 1947project blogs have always been based in historic newspaper research. That changes today, with the debut of the first 1947project blog series based entirely on original research in an historic, significant--and previously unknown--Downtown L.A. archive, that of the Union Rescue Mission.

Since their arrival on Skid Row in 1891 and to the present day, the people of Union Rescue Mission have provided food, housing, clothing, counseling and hope to the most needy of the city, acting as a faith-based flipside to public policy. The very phrase "on the wagon" to describe a reformed alcoholic refers to the URM's famous Gospel Wagon which once rolled up and down the bar-lined streets of eastern Downtown, welcoming aboard anyone who asked for help.

Through this project, the In SRO Land bloggers will be revealing never-before-seen documents from more than a hundred years of life-saving and soul-saving work among the poor, the diseased, the drunken and the mad along Skid Row. Themes explored will include TESTIMONIALS (the confessions of former sinners whose lives have been redeemed through the aid of the mission, starting with safecracker Bill Stiles, who claimed to be a member of the Jesse James-Cole Younger Gang)... PHOTOGRAPHS (documents of now-demolished URM buildings and unpublished downtown streetscapes)... ARCHITECTURE (the history of the URM's early, now-demolished Main Street buildings, put into context with discussions of Victorian Downtown's removal to clear the way for the development of the Civic Center) and more.

A free walking tour "The Flâneur & The City: Victorian Los Angeles", including early Union Rescue Mission locations, takes place on September 25.
Role: editor, writer
posted by Scram (1 comment total)

Cool! Right down the street from where I live (okay, 1/2 mile.)
posted by Ideefixe at 5:42 PM on September 11, 2011

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