Mapping the Long History of Oil Drilling in LA
Los Angeles has had always had a complicated relationship with oil. In 1892, what had been a small agricultural city popular with Midwestern tourists became a boomtown nearly overnight when oil was discovered in modern-day Echo Park. From the beginning, the needs of the oil drillers collided with those of residents, visitors, and developers. The city we know today grew up alongside the oil industry and continues to be shaped by it—about 3,000 active wells remain in LA County, many of them in close proximity to residential neighborhoods, parks, and schools.
We’ve mapped a few of the places that show how the industry has embedded itself into the urban environment of Los Angeles.