Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Los Angeles Police Academy Rock Garden
1937 – Francois Scotti
1880 North Academy Drive, Elysian Park – map
The Los Angeles Police Academy’s history in the Chavez Ravine area of Elysian Park goes back more than seventy-five years to when the Los Angeles Pistol Club was founded on more than twenty acres of leased city land. Today, that organization is the Los Angeles Police Revolver and Athletic Club.
Now, the Club’s website reports it was founded in 1931. The Los Angeles Police Department gives 1925. So, like I said, more than seventy-five years ago.
The Elysian Park shooting range served as the venue site for the 1932 Olympics revolver and pistol matches. Afterwards, the club acquired buildings and equipment from the U.S. Olympics Organizing Committee. The buildings had to be relocated from Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills.
The city took over training duties from LAPRAAC in 1936, with the LAPD officially moving in and maintaining the site since (the club is still there).
As for the city landmark, a year before the LAPD took over, the Parks Commission gave LAPRAAC the go-ahead to build an athletic center, including a rock garden, on the site. It wasn’t until early 1937 that the club hired landscape artist Francois Scotti to design the garden. He included four pools, stone seats, waterfalls, a modest amphitheater, and even a barbecue pit.
The Police Academy has been the site of many movie and teevee filmings. The Rock Garden, in particular, served as the setting for a couple of Tarzan movies (just look for the California pines in the deep, dark African jungles).
This city monument today can be rented for events, and is “the perfect place for Retirements, Reunions, and Weddings.”
If you would've visited the Rock Garden with me, not only would you be able to appreciate how beautiful the site is, but also you could tell me how high I'd leap out of my Buster Browns whenever there was a volley of gunfire from the adjacent shooting range. Funny stuff, there.
Up next : Hollywood Sign