Hugh Wilton remembers ‘the jungle’

| December 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

HAROLD A. HENRY PARK is an island of land in Windsor Village that replaces what was once the Dr. Eldie Wood family compound. Photo of Wood Family book.

Hugh Wilton was five years old when his family moved across the street from the Wood family compound, the present-day Harold A. Henry Park in Windsor Village. (See Oct. 2020 Larchmont Chronicle story in Section 2, Page 8.)

Wilton remembers playing with neighborhood kids in what they called “the jungle,” an overgrown area that was part of the 1.6-acre property owned by Dr. Eldie Wood, who came to Los Angeles in the early 1900s.

The odd-shaped parcel Wood purchased became the site of five houses for his family.

Wilton’s father purchased their house on Windsor Blvd. near Ninth Street in 1953. In the early 1960s, the Wood family tried to rezone its property to allow the building of a 50-unit upscale apartment building.

Wilton’s mother, Peggy Beckendorf, recalled the neighborhood effort to stop the zoning change. “It took three years of constant protesting before the city agreed to buy the land for a park,” his mother told Wilton.

A bond issue had been passed, calling for more parkland in the city and providing the necessary funds to enable Councilman Harold A. Henry to have the city purchase the Wood acreage and its buildings.

A park was constructed, and it was officially dedicated to the councilman in 1966. Henry served the city’s Fourth District from 1945 to 1966.

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Category: Real Estate

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