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Cascades Park.

Cascades Park

Field review by the editors.

Monterey Park, California

In 1929 real estate developer Peter N. Snyder wanted to attract wealthy homebuyers to his new Midwick View Estates, "the Beverly Hills of the East Side." So he had built an elaborate, multi-tier water cascade, flanked by broad staircases and lawns. At the Cascades' apex, the water spills out of a fountain at the feet of a Greek goddess (Snyder was a Greek immigrant). Some say it's Athena, but some say it's actually the Roman goddess Flora. The original statue was stolen decades ago, and the current one dates to 2005, so perhaps Monterey Park got the wrong goddess.

Snyder's timing was terrible; the Great Depression wiped out the wealthy homebuyers, and he ended up selling the Cascades to the state. Somehow they survived. The Cascades are now incorporated into the Monterey Park city seal, and they're a registered historical site of the State of California. They're also now surrounded by houses, like Snyder wanted, but the houses weren't built until after World War II.

Cascades Park

700 S. Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA
I-10 exit 23A. Drive south on S. Atlantic Blvd for one mile. Turn right at the stoplight onto El Portal Place. You'll see the waterfall straight ahead. Lit at night.
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