La Mujer de Aztlán, 1976, by Judithe Hernández and Carlos Almaraz, two of many now-renowned artists who were associated with Mechicano Art Center and Centro de Arte Público in Highland Park. | University of Southern California Digital Library /Photo: Robin Dunitz

City moves closer to official recognition for Highland Park’s Chicano heritage

2021 Editions Featured June

By Bill Hendrickson

The drive to gain recognition for Highland Park’s pivotal role in the Chicano Art Movement of the 1970s is entering a critical phase — and you can help ensure that the neighborhood gets the recognition it deserves.

At issue is the ongoing effort by the Highland Park Heritage Trust to gain Historic-Cultural Monument status for two buildings in Highland Park that housed the Mechicano Art Center  and the Centro de Arte Público:

Mechicano (5337-5341 N. Figueroa Street) and Público (5605-5607 N. Figueroa Street) were the creative engines behind murals and exhibitions that translated the themes of the Chicano Movement into art and, in the process, helped to launch the careers of many now-renowned artists, including  Carlos Almaraz, Isabel Castro, Richard Duardo, Sonya Fe, Judithe Hernández and John Valadez.

The Los Angeles City Council is now accepting public comment on the applications for Monument status for the buildings — and the  Highland Park Heritage Trust is urging residents of Northeast L.A. to submit public comments in favor of the applications.

To submit a comment, click here. Enter council file number 21-0140 for Mechicano and 21-0136 for Centro de Arte Público. Be sure to include your zip code or neighborhood of residence. Don’t delay: A vote in the city council’s Planning and Land Use Committee is expected as early as the next committee meeting on June 15, though the date is not yet set in stone.

Public comments will become part of the information file used by city councilmembers when they vote on the nominations.

If approved by the committee, the nominations will then come before the full City Council for final approval.

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2 thoughts on “City moves closer to official recognition for Highland Park’s Chicano heritage

  1. I been in Highland Park many years. As I turned 65 and on social security, I have come to the realization there is no housing for me in Highland Park. I am a chicano and to see this type of aritcle yet I cannot survive here because of gentrification is sad. I wrote to offices of councilmember Cedillo and De Leon. The do not help me. I ask for help dealing with the confusing websites for supposed housing. it is all a lie. Todo es Mentira. How dare you put out this article when it is obvious the Sentinel has very few Chicano writers.

  2. dear Bill Hendrickson,
    can you help me find a place to live on my 1200/mo social security in Highland Park? please help. the councilmembers have ignored my pleas. I am soon going to live in a tent. have you seen the plaque at York and N. Fig? so many chicanos died in Viet Nam. And now i cant stay in HLP.

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