Sunken City is located just South of Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, Los Angeles. A type of urban atlantis, Sunken City is a hidden cement cemetery for suburban seaside life that literally sank. The entire area has been fenced off since 1987 but the wrought iron fence seems to only prevent cars from coming in. This roughly six acre piece of land was once an oceanside neighborhood is now equally a geologist and graffiti artist dream park.
Sunken City began to sink in 1929 when a chunk of land that was estimated at around 400 by 1,000 feet slid into the ocean. For over a year geologists estimate that the land continued to slide around a foot a day. After the initial landslide all but two of the homes and bungalows were relocated or saved before the rest of the land slid into the ocean.
A water main break in 1941 pushed the land even further, and forced the city to close off the area to the public, however ineffective this action was. It is not currently considered active land, however it must be said that every visitor enters at their own risk, this particular pilgrimage is not for the ill-balanced. The city of San Pedro has experienced many deaths on that slab of land, both accidental and not.
No trespassing signs litter the fence all along the perimeter informing the public that there is an unspecified fine for entering the property. That being said, if you so wish to enter it is best to do so from one of the bordering neighborhoods rather than the public park of Point Fermin. South Pacific Avenue and South Carolina Street both lead directly into Sunken City. Follow the path that borders the property and you will no doubt find an opening. You might be pleasantly surprised to find families picnicking and dogs running around on the opposite side of the fence.
Over eighty years later the cracked and crumbled streets and streetcar tracks are still visible under the graffiti and beer bottles. Palm trees, who unlike humans are fearless of landslides have popped up among the cement slabs. The sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs and seals barking echo against the cement walls of this suburban sinkhole.
Read also about the abandoned suburban town next to LAX Airport, Surfridge. Get in touch with the author @larkinmagner.