what are these unbuilt areas around LAX?
March 18, 2013 5:55 PM   Subscribe

I was flying into LAX and I noticed there are a few areas around LAX which seem to have been planned to be city blocks, but then were not built on (or the buildings were torn down). Does anyone here know the story? Here are some locations in Google Maps: http://goo.gl/maps/di2GP http://goo.gl/maps/6zMfc
posted by yticmic to Law & Government (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
It's surfridge - a formerly nice beach neighborhood that was too close to lax. http://thechive.com/2012/08/28/right-at-the-heart-of-lax-lies-the-abandoned-city-of-surfridge-15-hq-photos/
posted by visual mechanic at 6:10 PM on March 18, 2013

The area on the west end of LAX is/was called "Surfridge". Some pictures and an article, Wikipedia. Looks like there used to be houses, but they were torn down due to being right at the departure end of a major airport.

(Preview: beat me!)
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:12 PM on March 18, 2013

The first link is the surfridge ghost town:


It was condemned due to close proximity to LAX.

The second area looks like it's being bought by the airport, according to wikimapia:

posted by unix at 6:15 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yep. I used to live near there. It's a little bit creepy.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:15 PM on March 18, 2013

There previously were houses in those locations but as the airport expanded the runways in the 1970s, the noise levels became too high and property owners were required to sell to the city/airport. Not just in that neighborhood (which was somewhat swank and went by the name of Surfridge) but to the north and west of the airport as well.
posted by conrad53 at 6:19 PM on March 18, 2013

And now it's a butterfly preserve!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 6:41 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used to get stoned, and drive to that neighborhood, whenever the wind was blowing offshore which meant the planes landed from the ocean. There was a point when the planes, which approached using their night lights, turned on their landing lights and it was so cool. . . .

I miss that. . .
posted by Danf at 7:00 PM on March 18, 2013 [5 favorites]

An LA Times article from a couple of weeks ago.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:29 PM on March 18, 2013

My father used to live in that area (approximately here, he says) when he was a kid in the mid-'50s. From an e-mail he sent me some years ago:
238 Grand Pre North (my home) occupied the lower left quadrant of the oval. It was a 3-bedroom "ranch-style" split level.... ("Pre" = meadow or prairie in French, I think.)

Now it looks pretty barren, after taking away all of the houses for airport safety and security reasons (note airport in the background). The area is actually on a giant sand dune, and the street is actually on a fairly steep hill--the garage was six steps above house level, and the bedroom area was six steps above the living room area, and there was an awful lot of grass to mow (even in the winter)!
(That e-mail, by the way, was an e-mail he sent me in response to my forwarding him a link to the California Coastal Records Project, which I had found on Metafilter waaaayyy back here. There's a nice web-circle-of-life thing going on there, it seems to me.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:46 PM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]

A bit of additional info here.
posted by bac at 8:00 PM on March 18, 2013

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