In 1974, the Army Corps of Engineers approached Judith F. Baca to build a mural in the Tujunga Wash Flood Control Channel. Beyond her very imagination, it would lead to the inception of the Great Wall of Los Angeles. The half-mile long mural in the San Fernando Valley--beginning in prehistoric times and extends to the 1950s-- reveals historical events representative of California's immigrant and minority communities.
What began with Baca's own paper and pencil eventually grew to involve over 400 youths, who collaborated with muralists, historians, professors, and community members to produce the Wall. After 5 years, with 600 gallons of paint and over 65,000 hours of labor, the Great Wall was established, conveying long overlooked histories and, for some, deeply personal memories.
Now the mural has become an asset for the growingly diverse community, and for Los Angeles, a catalyst for social justice. The Wall continues to be a work-in-progress: a 3-year-long restoration began in 2008, and plans are in place to extend the mural through to the 1990s.
Explore the Great Wall of Los Angeles
Los Angeles is a sprawling city of many neighborhoods, each with its own unique set of people, places, and things that work together to create a distinct community. With so many layers of history and culture, the best way to begin to understand L.A. is to break it down into small bits, and peel back the layers, and reveal the depths of this complex city.
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Be a Tourist
Use our Field Guides to explore the places and histories that make up our unique neighborhoods.