Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Auto Glass District

I'm not the first person to call Mission Road between Marengo and Cesar Chavez the auto glass district.  Eric Brightwell put it on a map of L.A.'s Eastside.

In 2003, the L.A.Times called it the Windshield District in this article.

It is a land of giants and hand-painted signs.


More windshields than I would ever want to photograph--

Pictures of car parts--

A key shop, too

Behind the giant--

 All blessed by La Virgen de Guadalupe-

Only two buildings seem to have any kind of permanence--

 This sweet little deco building at 995, built in 1932, hidden behind the street trees, iron fence, light poles and signs.  Imagine it with a welcoming entrance.  It could be pleasant little office.  I wonder what it was in earlier days.

On Mission and Cesar Chavez Ave. is San Luis Auto Glass, built by Jose Arellano the street's "Godfather of Glass."  Arellano started in 1974 by renting a stall on Mission Rd. In 1985 he bought a gas station and junkyard. Eight years later, he had this warehouse built there. 

Here's the closest I got to an aerial view, from a steep hill I managed to climb.

 West of Mission Rd. it the Union Pacific Los Angeles Trailer and Container Intermodal Facility (LATC) site, popularly known as the Piggyback Yard. Beyond that is the L.A. River.  Lewis McAdams of FoLAR has envisioned this yard as an important part of River Revitalization, and it was included in the Army Corps of Engineers Alternative 20 for their work with the river.  Now there's a snag in the plan.  Union Pacific Railroad wants too much money for the property. When I imagine this as parkland, as the renderings show it, I see great opportunity for developers to buy up all the land the auto glass district occupies to build fancy apartments and condominiums, like the ones going up downtown.  

In the meantime, someone is keeping chickens on the bank above it.


  1. A really great profile of the area.

  2. Thank you. I've been loving your photographs of it.