Yesterday my group and I traveled down Cherry Ave to explore the areas of Long Beach that used to be segregated into three different socioeconomic districts. These districts, outlined by the FHA, once facilitated the demographics of the area, restricting certain types of people from living there. Although these districts are not directly defined today, it was easy to notice a difference between the different areas.
We began in the worst part of the area known as the Signal Hill Oil Fields, once apart of the “redlined” district as outlined by the FHA. The effects of the past segregation still rippled through the current living environment and it was interesting to observe how or if the area has changed. The houses and storefronts were rundown and surrounded by oil fields, making for a still burdened society. Certain areas developed to have better living conditions but still lacked the local maintenance and aesthetic of the area.
As we moved closer towards the beach, housing complexes became more vertical and the state of condition the area was in progressively got better. The public spaces were maintained and privately policed just as they were in the past, the only difference being there is no direct classification of the district. Certain conditions of the areas still limited the access to the less fortunate as the streets and shopping centers were monetized by having metered and valet parking. The distinction of these districts are still clear today as they have followed a similar path of growth as in the mid twentieth century.