Observing Los Angeles

Those air raid sirens you see around the city

air-raid-siren-ktown.jpgEvery so often somebody asks about the corroding civil defense sirens up on poles scattered all over Los Angeles. Well, Dennis Hanley knows all about them. They were air raid sirens first installed during World War II, then revived and expanded during the Cold War of the 1950s and 60s. Most people who lived here then remember the sirens being tested on the last Friday of every month at 10 a.m. The system was shut down for good in the 1980s, but something like 200 of the big metal sirens remain as dormant reminders of the years when officials prepared for Soviet attacks. Hanley chronicles the sirens at his website. Saul Gonzalez talked to him recently for KCRW.

Photo: Losangelesairraidsirens.com

More by Kevin Roderick:
LA Observed Notes: 60 Minutes, selling the Coliseum and more
Gil Cedillo, Nick Melvoin win LA runoffs*
LA Observed Notes: Baca goes down, LAX shuffle, media moves
LA Observed Notes: Big TV news, media moves, obits and more
LA Observed Notes: Writers on the verge, Fox, the riots and more
Recent Observing Los Angeles stories on LA Observed:
Returning to LA in sticker shock
Jukebox repair man of West Pico Boulevard
Injured by sidewalk, Fox 11 reporter ready to quit Los Angeles
Another great old map from Glen Creason of LAPL
Down on the Silver Lake lakebed (gallery) *
Small, quirky fixes that might help us get around
LA's river homeless in the New Yorker
Serious kudos for the LA Review of Books


LA Observed on Twitter