Neighborhood left out of Barlow Hospital story

Earlier this month an administrator from Barlow Respiratory Hospital near Elysian Park expressed concern that the Los Angeles Times was preparing a story about the hospital’s plan to redevelop its campus. It turns out that the executives of the 106-year medical facility had nothing to worry about. The Times’ Barlow story ran Friday and contained not a single word of criticism or skepticism about a plan that would demolish most of the park-like campus, a city historic landmark, and replace it with high density housing, leaving a little patch left over to build a new Barlow.

Some Echo Park residents have already expressed concern as well as support for Barlow’s preliminary plans, which have been presented to small groups. In late September, one Echo Park resident who attended one of those meetings described the hospital’s plans as “insane.” But none of those sentiments were reflected in the Times story. Instead, the only words devoted to the surrounding community were these:

“…many nearby residents are fiercely insular and protective.”

Apparently insular and protective people are not worth interviewing because the only persons quoted in the Times story are Barlow employees and hospital consultants.

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