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The Chicano art and spirit of the ’70s lives on at Estrada Courts in Boyle Heights

BOYLE HEIGHTS —  The L.A. Weekly got it right when it described the murals of the Estrada Courts housing project as “time capsules of Chicano art.” The murals that cover building walls and fences reflect the political fervor and ethnic pride that emerged during the 1970s. Photographer Aurelio Jose Barrera took a detour on a recent bike ride to take a closer look at the murals.

There have been ongoing efforts to restore the approximately 80 murals, some two stories high, at the project. Many, however, have faded and have  been tagged up. Still, the murals of Estrada Courts continue to attract attention and praise.

“Thousands of cars drive by the intersection of Lorena Street and Olympic Boulevard and only get to see some of the murals,” said Barrera,  who photographed and documented many of the murals back in the 1990s following the civil unrest and rioting of  1992. “This morning I stopped at Estrada Courts to enjoy the murals instead of just riding by .

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