Leonard Nadel Photographs
Leonard Nadel photographs and other material relating to housing and urban redevelopment in Los Angeles, 1947–1998 (bulk 1947–1957) (Series I.A., I.B., I.C., and II.A.)
This collection of over 3,000 images consists primarily of photographic material from 1947 to 1957 by the American photojournalist Leonard Nadel (1916–1990). It records early efforts by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) to promote integrated public housing for the city's growing multiethnic population and also documents several urban areas that the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) had selected for commercial revitalization.
Nadel made meticulous photographic surveys of Los Angeles, sometimes block by block, of the slums and historic areas targeted for demolition and redevelopment, including Bunker Hill, Chavez Ravine, the Civic Center area, and Elysian Park. In addition, this collection documents the Aliso Village and Pueblo del Rio housing projects—one of Nadel's largest photographic projects of the 1940s. He shows not only the physical environment and buildings but also their inhabitants. From aerial and panoramic views to close-range shots, a large portion of Nadel's work for HACLA focuses on individual families or tenants, affording a very personal portrait of slum and project life.
This archive also includes photographs of the civil-liberties activist Frank Wilkinson and planning meetings between city officials and architects (among them Robert Alexander, Richard Neutra, and Frank Lloyd Wright).