Rafu Wire and Staff Reports
The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to install a sign at the former site of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station in Tujunga in recognition of its status as a historical-cultural monument.
The council voted in 2013 to give monument status to the site, where more that 2,000 individuals of Japanese, Italian, German and Japanese Peruvian descent were confined between 1941 and 1943 during World War II before most were transferred to other camps.
The detainees were declared “enemy aliens” by the federal government following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. They were rounded up and kept behind barbed wire, watched over by armed guards, at the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp that was located near La Tuna Canyon Road and Tujunga Canyon Boulevard/Honolulu Avenue.
None of the original structures from the camp remain, as they were razed to make way for the Verdugo Hills Golf Course, but the council in 2013 designated a one-acre parcel of oak trees for the monument.
This week’s motion was approved on a 15-0 vote.
The owner of the property, Snowball West Investments, has sought to have the historical-cultural monument status rescinded because it might interfere with development. The Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition wants to place a memorial marker on the one-acre parcel. However, the city signs will be placed outside the property.
“The street sign is a great beginning,” said TCDSC President Nancy Oda. “Ultimately, the memorial … must be built on the north side of La Tuna Canyon Boulevard. The TCDSC is grateful to Councilmembers Monica Rodriguez and David Ryu for co-sponsoring this important motion. Mitch O’Farrell seconded the motion. Board member James Okazaki has made a huge contribution towards our drive to acknowledge Tuna Canyon’s history. I am so happy today.
“The three signs will be posted on the corners in the near future.”