The La Brea Tar Pits is one of the world’s most famous fossil sites, and lucky for us Angelenos, it’s smack in the middle of our city on Miracle Mile.
With Ice Age fossils of mammoths and saber-tooths, the Fish Bowl Lab, the Pleistocene Garden and the tar pits themselves, the Page Museum will fascinate even the most museum-resistant people. It’s also a Destination Discounts partner, which means your valid TAP card saves you $1.25 on adult admission! The Page Museum is located at 5801 Wilshire Boulevard and open Monday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on major holidays.
Getting to the tar pits via Metro is a snap. Hop on Metro Rapid 720 or Metro Local 20 and exit at Wilshire/Fairfax (if going Rapid) or Wilshire/Curson (if going Local). Enjoy historic Wilshire Boulevard from a new perspective while you ride. You may notice utility relocation work occurring at the intersection of Wilshire and Fairfax. It’s part of the first phase of the Purple Line Extension from Wilshire/Western to Wilshire/La Cienega, slated to open in 2023.
Speaking of the Purple Line Extension, Metro began digging an exploratory shaft adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits in spring of 2013 in order to better understand the geology of the future Wilshire/Fairfax Station. The video below highlights the archeological side of the project: the discovery and excavation of scores of fossils to be cataloged and housed in the nearby Page Museum!ARVE Error: need id and provider
Categories: Go Metro
For the La Brea Tar Pits, LA could take a hint from our sister city, Athens (Greece) on how they managed to make a artifact museum out of a subway station:
Just two quick comments/questions:
(1) Is there a map or a link that will show what route the Purple Line will be taking as it travels (through? beneath? above? around?) the La Brea Tar Pits? How might a completed Purple Line be impacted in the event of an earthquake, in this particular area?
(2) This article mentions the fact that Metro, with a desire to better understand the geology of the area, “began digging an exploratory shaft adjacent to the La Brea Tar Pits” which just happens to be “one of the world’s most famous fossil sites” for those Angelenos who visit and purchase tickets. Well, since it is a known fossil site, won’t the process and time requirement to remove, classify and document these unconvered fossils be tedious? What steps will Metro do to ensure that this local history remains intact during the construction of the Purple Line? Will the giant, tunnel drilling equipment simply be turned on, programmed and set on it’s path with no regards to the the structures it encounters?
Hi B Jams;
There is a plan to recover fossils from the station excavation sites, including Wilshire/Fairfax — the nearest station to the tar pits. More on that is in this appendix to the project’s final environmental document: http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/westside/images/final_eir-eis/Appendix%20G%20Memorandum%20of%20Understanding%20for%20Paleontological%20Resources.pdf
This part of the FEIR explains the different seismic issues along the subway route and the different mitigations: http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/westside/images/final_eir-eis/Geotechnical%20and%20Hazardous%20Materials%20Technical%20Report.pdf. Bottom line: there are definitely seismic issues as there are in much of California) and there are also proven mitigations, including for underground areas that have gassy conditions.
Hope this helps,
Editor, The Source
And here is a map of the subway’s route above and below ground (requires some scrolling): http://media.metro.net/projects_studies/westside/images/final_eir-eis/05.Vol%201%20Plate%203-1.pdf
I don’t know about how/if fossils will be recovered from in front of the tunnel boring machines. The stations will be excavated from above (below the street decking) while the tunnels between stations will be dug by TBMs. I’ve asked staff.
Hope this helps
Hi B Jams;
The answer to the other question is that the fossil recovery efforts will be concentrated at the station excavations, where most fossils are expected to be found (the excavations are significantly larger than the 20- to 21-foot wide tunnels. Also, recovering fossils from in front of a tunnel boring machine is extremely difficult, expensive and time consuming. Another point worth considering: no fossils would be recovered if not for the project being built. The MOU between Metro and the Page Museum strikes me as a good compromise that could yield some interesting finds.
Editor, The Source