Dodger Stadium is an American icon. But the story of how it came to be goes far beyond baseball. The hills that cradle the stadium were once home to three vibrant Mexican American communities. In the early 1950s, those communities were condemned to make way for a utopian public housing project. Then, in a remarkable turn, public housing in the city was defeated amidst a Red Scare conspiracy.
Instead of getting their homes back, the remaining residents saw the city sell their land to Walter O’Malley, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Now LA would be getting a different sort of utopian fantasy — a glittering, ultra-modern stadium.
But before Dodger Stadium could be built, the city would have to face down the neighborhood’s families — including one, the Aréchigas, who refused to yield their home. The ensuing confrontation captivated the nation – and the divisive outcome still echoes through Los Angeles today.