After decades of false starts and baby steps forward, there are big movements at Marlton Square, a.k.a. Santa Barbara Plaza. Just over a year ago, Leimert Park Beat embarked on a crowd-sourced, crowd-funded investigationinto the status of this 20-acre eyesore. There was plenty of blame to pass around.
In August, we were there with Councilman Bernard Parks for the wrecking ball’s figurative first strike.
The demolition isn’t fast enough. And there are only hints of development ahead. But at least there’s something going on.
You can see it in these pictures taken by Rob Helfman of ShawDog.com, who lives on the hill above that bombed out shopping center. Helfman was there for the for the press conference in August. He's been taking photos of the progress nearly every day and supplied the photos in the slide show featured above.
"Hey, every day I look down the hill and see the (glacial) incremental progress from my windows," Helfman said. "I'll stop taking pictures until it's done (or I croak, whichever comes first)."
Several buildings along Martin Luther King Boulevard are no more (the legendary Jerry’s Flying Fox is still open!). The swap meet/El Shaddai church on the corner is almost gone.
As each decrepit wall falls down, something new rises in its place – hope.