In late September, a $3.2-million pedestrian plaza opened just north of Olvera Street and the El Pueblo monument.
Migrant's Bend Plaza, located on Cesar Chavez Avenue between Spring Street and Broadway, was built as part of an approximately $3.2-million pedestrian and streetscape improvement program. It was designed by landscape architect Scott Shimatsu of the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services.
The approximately 7,000-square-foot space is centered on The Bracero Monument, a 19-foot statue which depicts a Mexican man leaving his family for the United States during the era of the "Bracero" work program. The program began in 1942 to account for the shortage in the farm, mining, and railroad labor markets during World War II, and continued through 1964. Approximately 4.5 million Mexican nationals were employed by the Bracero program during its 22-year existence.
"The Bracero monument is a tribute to every immigrant who has ever come to this land," said Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar in a statement. "It is a testimonial to their courage and their contributions. The decision to erect this monument across the street from where our city was founded delivers a rebuke to those who would attempt to denigrate immigrants. Instead, our message is one of inclusion and solidarity. Our message is that immigrants are our core, they are our heart, and they are our inspiration."
Migrant's Bend Plaza also abuts the recently-finished LA Plaza Village apartment complex, which features more than 300 residential units and ground-floor commercial space on two properties owned by Los Angeles County.
- Downtown (Urbanize LA)