On Tuesday March 8, 2016, I was a production assistant on the short film, They Charge For The Sun, at Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area located in the Baldwin Hills. When showing up to set, I was immediately interested by this place, it basically resembles a grassy creator with sporadic groupings of trees. Not to mention, this place is huge and is right in the middle of the Inglewood Oil Field which is already an interesting place to begin with. So, the park was established in 1984 and it spans 401-acres earning itself the name of “L.A.’s Central Park.”
The place has a very interesting history starting with the Tongva people inhabiting the Baldwin Hills area until the 19th century when Spanish and Mexican Ranchos developed in and around the present day area of the park. As we saw with the late 19th century and earlier 20th century throughout Los Angeles was the pushing out of Native Americans and the growth of the Spanish and Mexican presence that was eventually invaded by the westward movement of the United States people that took them in as workers and farmers to reinforce the Spanish fantasy of early Los Angeles. In 1932, the east side of the park was used as the site for the first Olympic Village ever built in the 1932 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. The park was originally named the Baldwin Hills State Recreational Area, but the name was later changed to honor Kenneth Hahn for his preservation efforts in the era.
Overall, the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is a beautiful place full of green and grass that seems to go on for miles and it is so unusually to find this in the concrete jungle that Los Angeles is, I mean it looks like a grey blob from satellite photos, but it is nice to know you don’t have to drive all the way to the Hollywood Hills to find some nature and a place to have a nice lunch in the island on the land that Los Angeles is.