Briganti Restaurant, Mission Street off Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena, CA

photo by: Barry Schwartz

11 Most Endangered Historic Places

Historic Communities of the 710

  • Location: Los Angeles, California

For more than thirty years, a proposed five-mile freeway and tunnel in the Los Angeles metro area threatened to displace residents, destroy historic homes, and cost billions of dollars—all without improving mobility or air quality. But thanks to constant pressure and forward-thinking alternatives, a coalition of neighborhood advocates, city and state leaders, and preservation organizations (including the National Trust) successfully and definitively defeated the plan.

The coalition’s vision of “Beyond the 710” encourages a smarter transportation model that better serves a 21st-century metropolis while also protecting the historic fabric that makes its neighborhoods vibrant and livable. Now, thousands of people whose homes were once threatened can remain, and the communities in peril can look forward to a dynamic future.

A proposal by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) to build an eight-lane, 4.5 mile freeway tunnel threatened to cost taxpayers billions and had the potential to significantly harm the dense, desirable, and irreplaceable historic fabric of several cities and neighborhoods in L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley that are in its path. In partnership with the cities, organizations, institutions, and political leaders of “Beyond the 710,” the National Trust encouraged the adoption of a smarter, regional model for transportation planning better suited to the 21st-century needs of a dynamic and growing metropolis.

This massive transportation project stretched over more than 5 miles through a collection of some of the oldest, most historic cities, neighborhoods, and streetscapes in the San Gabriel Valley. These communities are defined by dozens of vibrant historic commercial and residential districts, hundreds of individual landmarks, groundbreaking infrastructure projects like old Route 66 and the Arroyo Seco Parkway (the oldest highway in the United States and a National Scenic Byway), and nationally prominent cultural events like the Annual Tournament of Roses Parade.

Campaign Goals

  • Permanently remove the tunnel alternative from consideration by Caltrans and Metro
  • Secure support for the study of a smarter, 21st century regional transportation plan that will keep these communities thriving and accessible
  • Expand the “Beyond the 710” coalition to show broad support for a better solution that protects and promotes the historic urban fabric as an important component of livable cities and neighborhoods


Reject a massive freeway tunnel project through some of the oldest, most historic communities in the Los Angeles metro area. Build public support for a smarter, 21st century transportation plan that meets the needs of the San Gabriel Valley region.

We believe all Americans deserve to see their history in the places that surround us. As a nation, we have work to do to fill in the gaps of our cultural heritage.

Let's Get to Work