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Karina Nimmerfall
Possible Scenarios of a Discontinued Future
1953. Possible Scenarios of a Discontinued Future creates a multi-layered investigation into an unrealized social vision for a new modernist utopia—conceived of as a city within a city, for a working class population of 17,000—on the site of the displaced communities of Chavez Ravine, situated just northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

Intended as a prototype for future low-cost housing, the controversial project was met with a highly publicized attack on public housing, where anti-socialist polemic, private developers, real estate lobbyists, and the media all came together not only to dominate public opinion, but also to affect the housing debate on a national level. After years of detailed preparation, the visionary plan for Elysian Park Heights was scrapped in 1953, and replaced by plans for Dodger Stadium, and private enterprise in general. The story of this housing project exemplifies the end, as well as the beginning, of a new era. After World War II, the socially concerned modernism of the left emerged from its own battles with a new corporate aesthetic and a much more ambivalent ideology, giving way to neo-liberal urban development practices.

Language: English