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Fascinating Turn-of-the-Century Trash Found During Construction on Chinatown's Cornfield Park

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Cornfield park (formally the Los Angeles State Historic Park) in Chinatown is right now being dug up for a big makeover that'll include new wetlands, restrooms, and a meadow, and the work has unearthed some fantastic artifacts from the area's history as a railroad yard for Southern Pacific that first opened in 1875. "Even the trash we found, that's cool stuff for us because you find out a lot in terms of a sociological standpoint," a historical archaeologist working on the project tells the Downtown News. Here's more of the cool stuff they've found down in Chinatown:

· Trash pits yielding inkwells, pieces of broken China, parts of porcelain dolls (eerily named "Frozen Charlottes"), buttons, old tools, and a ton of coal ash the trains dumped
· A hollowed-out redwood log buried a few feet underground that was likely used to transport water to surrounding buildings
· The foundation and part of the exterior of a brick building likely used as a place to repair locomotives
· A 200-foot-long path of dark stones called "Belgian blocks" that might be incorporated into plans for an outdoor beer garden next to a small restaurant in the park

Besides the Belgian blocks, most of the artifacts uncovered during the renovation process will probably not be seen by the public; some (like the brick building remnants) will be reburied, while others (like the ancient trash) will be placed in a storage facility, probably indefinitely, and be accessible only to researchers. "Most of it isn't aesthetically pleasing enough to be in public view. It's more interesting for us as a research tool. In general, less than 1% of found artifacts go on display," the archaeologist working at the site says.

The park is set to open next summer after its full, $20-million renovation is complete.
· Archeological Finds Uncovered at L.A. State Historic Park [DN]
· Here's How Cornfield Park Will Look After Its Huge Makeover [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles State Historic Park [Curbed LA]

Los Angeles State Historic Park

1245 North Spring Street, , CA 90012 Visit Website