Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Not So Secret

Our neighborhood oil well, 5733 W. Pico Blvd., between Genesee and Spaulding Avenues
The not so secret oil well right near our house is called the Packard Drill Site. This fake, windowless office building was built around the well in 1968. I don't remember, but I'm guessing the well has been there for a very long time and they finally decided to cover it in 1968 so that it would blend in better with the neighborhood. 
Photo by Scott Tansey, taken from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. Click on pick to make larger. You can see the Packard Drill Site, center left

I do remember when I moved to the area in 1992, that there were display windows showing what was going on inside the building. You could walk through the front doors and view the actual pumps. There is no roof on this fake office building, so it was always light inside. In front was a beautifully tended front lawn. There was a trumpet player who used to sit on the lawn and practice at odd times of the day and night!
About 10 years ago, we noticed homeless people setting up their tents on the lawn. Soon after that, the lawn area was fenced off and access to the building and exhibits was closed.
Packard Drill Site, 5733 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, Wilshire Vista Neighborhood

The group of oil wells is part of the Beverly Hills Oil Field which encompasses a few more sites, west of our Packard Drill site. The "building" is sound-proofed and the thick walls prevent the noxious oily smells from escaping into the neighborhood. Sometimes, during the summer, when our windows are open, we can vaguely hear the pump late at night. It's not ocean waves, but it can lull us to sleep!
Click on photo to see larger. Wells encompassing the Beverly Hills Oil Field. The well at Beverly Hills High School was recently closed

Read about more hidden oil wells nearby!

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