San Pedro's Sunken City: Open Hours Possible

A city councilmember proposes a daylight opening for the Pt. Fermin Park-close ruins.

Ruins, those sometimes eerie, always storied, highly windswept places containing physical remnants of a past era, are sometimes thought of as places from the long, long past.

We here in California know, however, that modern-era ruins proliferate, even in places where real estate transactions bustle and property changes hands. The coastline seems to boast several of these such spots, from San Francisco's storied Sutro Baths to San Pedro's Sunken City.

But while the Bay Area ruins once was a pool-laden play palace for late 19th-century bathers, Sunken City reveals the remnants of long-ago houses that slid towards the Pacific Ocean in 1929.

Chunks of those bygone '20s-era bungalows remain in the Point Fermin Park-adjacent spot, and the curious come to explore, despite the fences and despite the fact that trespassing is not permitted.

That may change if a new proposal by City Councilman Joe Buscaino is found feasible and given the go-ahead. The proposal posits keeping Sunken City open during daylight hours.

"Before making a decision to open Sunken City to the public, it is important that we as a city perform our due diligence and consider all of the public safety issues associated with this area," reads a statement from the councilman. "That is why I am looking forward to receiving a feasibility report from the Department of Recreation and Parks which has jurisdiction over Sunken City."

Urban-offbeat exploring outfit Atlas Obscura has rounded up several close-up photos of the slabs and chunks that constitute the modern Sunken City. For a peek through the fence, click.

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