Before the Dodgers

Before The Dodgers

Long before Sandy Koufax threw Dodger Stadium's first pitch, and even before the first residents moved into Chavez Ravine, there were the Elysian Hills. Raised up by tectonic forces, and carved into deep ravines by the ancient precursor of the Los Angeles River, these hills have meant many things to many people. They were a refuge from floods for the region's native Tongva Indians, and then a source of quarried stone soon after the city fell under American sovereignty. In this episode, "Lost LA" explores the various ways Southern California's inhabitants have used the hills around Dodger Stadium. The program looks at an old lithographic view of L.A. as drawn from an Elysian hilltop, the vanished neighborhood of Chavez Ravine, and a massive construction project that reshaped the land into a modern baseball palace.

Lesson Plan: What happens to a place across time?

LA as SubjectA collaboration between the USC Libraries and KCETLink, Lost LA features the member collections of L.A. as Subject, a research alliance dedicated to preserving and telling the sometimes-hidden stories and histories of the Los Angeles region.

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Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

Ghost Towns

Some California dreams did succeed, creating a megalopolis in the state’s north and south. Other dreams failed, leaving only ruins behind. This episode explores the hopes and dreams of three California ghost towns. We feature Bodie, an early gold mining settlement in Mono County that continues to be preserved in time; Llano Del Rio, a socialist utopian community in the Mojave Desert; and Zzyzx, a former health spa community that came to an end with the eviction of founder and radio evangelist Curtis Howe Springer.

  • 2019-09-24T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-24T17:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-25T22:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-26T05:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-28T12:30:00-07:00
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Yosemite

Californians have long fought over what Yosemite means and how to manage it. Since its birth as a park and preserve in 1864, Yosemite has become a postcard for the natural beauty of California. Each year, millions visit from around the globe to see the cliffs, waterfalls and meadows that inspire wonder and reverence of the American West. This episode explores how Yosemite has changed over time: from a land maintained by indigenous peoples to its emergence as a tourist attraction and national park to the site of conflict over humanity’s relationship with nature.

  • 2019-09-25T04:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-09-28T07:30:00-07:00
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Venice

From its origins as a themed seaside trolley resort to its international fame as a countercultural hub, Venice Beach has been in a state of perpetual renaissance, boasting a rich, multilayered history. This episode explores evolution of Abbot Kinney’s original Venice of America development, and how the commercial renaissance along Abbot Kinney Boulevard has impacted the historically African American neighborhood of Oakwood. We also look at the Beat poet community who called Venice home.

  • 2019-10-01T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-01T17:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-02T22:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-03T05:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-05T12:30:00-07:00
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Desert Fantasy

California’s deserts have sparked the imaginations of millions of people around the world. From the famously alien landscape of Joshua Tree to the wide expanses of seemingly empty land, the desert has been seen as a place of reinvention, a blank slate on which the visitor creates his or her own dream. This episode explores the man-made natural disaster that created the Salton Sea, the efforts to preserve Joshua Tree National Park, and how commercial interests and real estate developers created a desert utopia like Palm Springs.

  • 2019-10-02T04:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-05T07:30:00-07:00
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Fantasyland

Los Angeles has long been the place where you can imagine something — a time period, a location, ordinary or exotic, real or fantasy — and build it. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1910s and 1920s, when early filmmakers built huge, elaborately themed sets that often remained standing for months or years, inviting visitors to explore and to imagine being a part of the action. It found its fullest expression in nearby Anaheim, where Walt Disney’s Imagineers created the intricately themed, immersive experience that is Disneyland.

  • 2019-10-08T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-08T17:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-09T22:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-10T05:30:00-07:00
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Beach Culture

One of Southern California’s great international exports has been its beach culture. This episode explores how surfers, bodybuilders and acrobats taught Californians how to have fun and stay young at the beach — and how the 1966 documentary “The Endless Summer” shared the Southern California idea of the beach with the rest of the world.

  • 2019-10-09T04:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-12T07:30:00-07:00
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Griffith Park: The Untold History

At more than 4,500 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. Its founder, the controversial and complicated Griffith J. Griffith, donated the land to the city as a public recreation ground for all the people—an ideal that has been challenged over the years. In this episode visit a Mexican-era adobe within the park boundaries and ride the historic Merry-go-Round, where Griffith’s ideal of equal access was challenged.

  • 2019-10-15T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-15T17:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-16T04:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-16T22:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-17T05:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-17T13:30:00-07:00
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  • 2019-10-19T07:30:00-07:00
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