by Paul R. Spitzzeri
Closing out this extensive look into the planning document for the redevelopment of a large section of the City of Industry, including the Homestead, this post highlights a large fold-out map at the rear of the publication.
Notably, however, the map has material that is either not covered in the document or represents further thinking into some elements that were. Titled “Plan of Development,” the map has, as a background, a satellite image of a broader region including portions of north Orange County and Whittier on the south up to Interstate 10 on the north and from El Monte on the west to Diamond Bar and Pomona on the east.
Highlighted in blue is the long and narrow City of Industry with four boxes of images reflecting proposed items in the project area, as well as some outside elements for context. Some of these latter, for example, include Ontario Airport for ease of major access to the city by air, the city-wide run of the Union Pacific and Southern Pacific rail lines, and the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for connection to the city by rail.
Also noted as important items outside the project area, such as at the west end of the city, are the in-process San Jose Creek Water Reclamation Plant, located just outside city limits at the intersection of Interstate 605 and the 60 Freway, and a general identifier of that interchange as the western gateway to Industry.
Where today’s Crossroads Business Park is situated, also out of the project area, and just east of the 605/60 nexus was a projected “Transportation Distribution Industrial Center.” As is to be expected, yesterday’s plans can quickly be revised for tomorrow’s needs or wants. Because this proposed center was not in the project area and, therefore, not discussed in the document, it would be interesting to know what some of the ideas for this area were at the time.
Within the project area, there was at least one major component found on the map that was not given that much attention in the document, thought it was alluded to briefly. This is what was referred to at the time as the “Industry Regional Shopping Center” and which already seems to have had the major anchor tenants identified, if not committed to the concept, these being stores like Robinson’s, Broadway, Sears and J.C. Penney. In 1974, the Puente Hills Mall was completed and only one of the four stores is there, but Sears is clearly in difficult straits (J.C. Penney may also be generally barely hanging on, as well.)
With respect to other elements in the project area which received greater attention, the one that garnered most of the emphasis was what is now Industry Hills. At the time the idea was to have the “Industry Regional Park” with its centerpiece being a 27-hole championship golf course, an “Industry Exhibit-Conference Center,” and a new twist from what was in the document, space for local clubs, includingthe Y.M.C.A., the Y.W.C.A. and the Boys Club for activities and events under the heading of “Junior Achievement.” What all this later morphed into was today’s Pacific Palms Resort and the Expo Center.
Another centerpiece was the “Industry Civic-Financial Center” with existing banks joined by the city hall and other structures not identified fully in the document, though older buildings deemed incompatible with the redevelopment of the area were to be removed and streets rerouted.
One other proposed part of the project area, though not as extensively discussed as the others was the “Industry Airpark.” The airport was slated to go between Fairway Drive and Lemon Avenue and between the two rail lines north of the 60 Freeway, where there are business parks now. Clearly the concept did not go beyond the very early stages of planning and it can only be imagined what the outcry would have been from nearby communities which would have been affected by the noise and other obvious issues.
Although there was some brief discusion in the document to what was termed the “Historic-Cultural Element,” meaning the Homestead and the nearby Rowland House, these were not delinated on the map. In one way, this is surprising, given that the recommendations for developing this element were obviously important from a community service perspective. On the other hand, being that the goal of the project area was primarily and naturally aligned with broader city objectives of attracting development and serving business, the other components that were featured were undoubtedly seen as more connected to those ideas.
Next week, we turn to another important part of the planning process that led to the formulation of the city’s General and Project One plans. This was a detailed study, referred to in both documents, conducted by the Stanford Research Institute, but updated in 1970 to comprise an investigation of the city since its founding.