The Bunker Hill Redevelopment Project began in 1955 when the city of Los Angeles decided to modernize the downtown area by building skyscrapers and giving it a more sophisticated look. Spearheaded by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, California, and its principal downtown planner, Yukio Kawaratani, Bunker Hill was transformed and eventually became synonymous with downtown L.A. Its long-standing history can be separated into seven distinct periods:
I. "The Rise of Bunker Hill" occurred in the twenty years before and after the turn of the century and was characterized by the construction of Victorian mansions, hotels, and commercial real estate.
II. "The Decline of Bunker Hill" extended throughout the 1920s, 30s, and 40s as new construction projects were discouraged by the "Hill" residents. As a result, Bunker Hill was passed by, while other construction projects were completed in the downtown area.
III. "The Studies and Planning" period started after World War II. Encouraged by the California Community Redevelopment Law and Federal Housing Acts of 1946 and 1949, a redevelopment plan was finally adopted for Bunker Hill in 1959.
IV. "The Start of Implementation" of the redevelopment process took place in the 1960s. Acquisition, relocation, and site clearance occurred during the first five years, followed by the construction of the first four new developments and a new street system.
V. "The Signing Years" of the 1970s resulted in as many as 14 agreements for office, hotel, and housing development projects, of which five were constructed within the decade. Transportation measures to handle future traffic concerns were also pursued.
VI. "The Building Boom" of the 1980s saw an explosion of over a dozen office, residential and hotel projects constructed particularly on the hilltop. Bunker Hill redevelopment funds also helped to facilitate the construction of thousands of low and moderate income housing units throughout the city.
VII. "The Recession" of the 1990s halted the construction of many office buildings. Fortunately, one hotel and an apartment building still underwent construction and the historic Angel's Flight Railway was restored.