Leo Politi, Bunker Hill, and the Angels FlightRailway

                         PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Project A-Leo Politi Art Wall & Bunker Hill History Brochure


The nonprofit Angels Flight Railway Foundation believes that children and adults can be engaged and encouraged to learn more about the history of their city through the artwork of Leo Politi and the Leo Politi book collections in school and public libraries. Engaging the children in this way will preserve, in Leo’s words, "the continuity of the city's roots."

 Permanent Politi Paintings at Angels Flight

One means for this engagement will be the installation adjacent to the Railway of ceramic tile (or some other permanent, weather-resistant form of) reproductions of some of Leo Politi's illustrations from Bunker Hill, Los Angeles: reminiscences of bygone days. As passengers ascend or descend Bunker Hill on the historic Angels Flight, one can easily imagine their attention being drawn to the colorful Leo Politi paintings of historic buildings that once stood on Bunker Hill near the Railway and their curiosity being piqued to learn more about the early-day Los Angeles represented by the Politi pictures. A Foundation-published brochure can provide the curious with more information and direct them to additional educational resources.

 Bunker Hill History Brochure

This brochure is conceived as including about a dozen reproductions of color illustrations from Mr. Politi’s Bunker Hill book, using the original paintings entrusted to the Central Library as the bases for the reproductions. To be designed by prominent book designer Lorraine Wild, the pamphlet will include an approximately 2000-word original essay by prominent California historian Kevin Starr, who will write about the former Bunker Hill, of which the Angels Flight Railway is all that remains, and about Mr. Politi’s art and his goal of giving children “something of the past to treasure.” The book will include a brief bibliography, including web links, to guide children and adults in further study of the artist and of Bunker Hill and Los Angeles history    

In the conclusion to Bunker Hill, Leo Politi writes, “By destroying all our islands of heritage, we are not only erasing the continuity of our city’s history, but above all we are denying our children the precious knowledge of the past which would greatly enrich their lives.”

It has always been the goal of the Angels Flight Railway Foundation – through its stewardship of Bunker Hill’s historic little funicular railway – to preserve for the children of Los Angeles and others this “precious knowledge of the past” and to insure that this history will “greatly enrich their lives.” The Leo Politi Art Wall and the Bunker Hill History Brochure will help the Foundation further achieve that goal.