For more information about the historic cemetery formerly located on LA Plaza's site, please visit LAPlaza.lacounty.gov.
When LA Plaza opens its doors to the public, it will represent the nation’s premier center of Mexican American culture, and the newest addition to Los Angeles County’s family of cultural institutions.
The County of Los Angeles and LA Plaza have worked collaboratively to make this unique cultural center for Los Angeles a reality. As part of the County's system of cultural facilities, like the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and the Music Center, LA Plaza will take its place as one of Los Angeles’ premier destinations for both locals and tourists.
LA Plaza is designed as an interactive Mexican American center that showcases the city's early beginnings. It will present the rich traditions and contributions made by Mexican-Americans to the initial settlement, growth, and development of what is now a major world city. This includes our past, present and future.
The presence of Native Americans, a rich part of that story, is included in LA Plaza’s exhibits. Recently, a former cemetery and human remains were discovered on the center’s campus. This has sparked concern, community dialogue and no doubt will generate further education about the rich and complex history of Los Angeles. We want to reassure you that:
• LA Plaza has taken all precautions in safeguarding the integrity of the cemetery site and human remains. And if further remains are found, construction will stop to assess the situation. Native American representatives have been serving as on-site monitors.
• LA Plaza has redesigned its campus to protect the area of the former cemetery.
• Throughout construction and with the discovery of the cemetery, LA Plaza, Los Angeles County Officials, and all contractors have operated in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations, as well as archaeological protocol and will continue to do so.
• In addition, LA Plaza has been working with all interested parties to develop a consensus for a plan for respectful re-internment. It is LA Plaza’s hope that a permanent memorial be created to honor those buried and to educate visitors about the rich history of the site.
In 1781, a small group of 44 pobladores settled a place that would come to be known as the great City of Los Angeles. Like our region, LA Plaza began as a dream 17 years ago. Today, it takes its place among the great cultural institutions of the nation. The story of Los Angeles is this – that there is greatness in small beginnings.
LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Board of Trustees