The leaning Little League field of Elysian Park

Cracks near Little League snack bar

The playing fields of the Northeast Los Angeles Little League are set atop a hillside in Elysian Park with sweeping views of the city. But part of those fields, built on a landfill, have been sinking for several years now, causing the ground underneath the league snack bar and one of the two fields to lean, crack and sag, according to  L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez. How bad is it?  Lopez explains:

In the snack bar, adult volunteer Melody Nightingale’s left foot was at a decidedly lower elevation than her right foot as she served burgers and dogs fresh off a hot grill. “I’m beginning to lean this way permanently from working in here so long,” said Nightingale.

The concrete-block building is safe for now but will eventually have to be demolished, according to a spokeswoman for Councilman Ed Reyes.

A temporary snack bar and restroom will have to set up until funds could be found for a permanent replacement.  Lopez suggested the Dodgers, located down the hill from the little league fields, might want to help fund the repairs. The team, however, remains noncommittal.

Leaning columns of Little League snack bar



  1. Is that common … for fields to be built on top of landfills?

  2. The dodgers don’t have any money, they’re a bit cash strapped at the moment overpaying off Mean Moneybags McCourt

  3. It’s not uncommon. The problem with building on landfills is really the depth of the fill. Even at a certified compaction of 90% you still have 10% left for settlement. So if the landfill is 20 feet deep, you can still expect 2 feet of settlement over the ensuing decades. Now you’ll probably never see that much,but you can see how easily it is for this to happen with even a little bit of a differential.

  4. …after 20 years of being still the landfills are up for public use and that’s what happened here…sadly its now sinking. At the time this was seen as a good use of public/private cooperation with monies from Little League headquaters in Williamsport and land from LA Can you imagine that this was the first Little League in the inner city of Los Angeles. There was much communitiy invovlement. Parent Leaders and their children watered the field daily , they cleaned up the areas daily, cut the lawn, pulled the weeds, prepared the snack bar and like the saying goes, “Build it and they will come” hundreds of neighboring children came to play..it was exciting and a safe place for them as well. The fields were not shared with adult leagues..only children and there were plenty to go around. No good deed goes unpunished 🙁

  5. Cat, it doesn’t matter that it is a landfill. Even if the flat area would have been made by using only clean fill dirt, if the depth is sufficient than differential settlement is always a risk.

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