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The Sunken City & Street Art

June 07, 2023 11 min read

The Sunken City & Street Art - The Trendy Art

Key Takeaway:

  • The Sunken City of San Pedro is a popular attraction for urban explorers and street artists. Although it is technically off-limits, visitors can hike down to the area and explore the ruins of the abandoned neighborhood.
  • The Sunken City offers stunning ocean views and a unique landscape that is perfect for photography and exploring. Visitors should be aware of the risk of trespassing and should be respectful of the site and its history.
  • The graffiti art in the Sunken City adds a vibrant and creative element to the area, with colorful murals and tags covering many of the walls and surfaces. Some of the artwork reflects the local community and culture, while others are more abstract and artistic in nature.



The Sunken City of San Pedro

The Sunken City of San Pedro is a fascinating location with a rich history and background. The area has suffered from landslides and has become a canvas for street artists, giving the sunken city a unique character.

In this section, we will look at the current state of the sunken city and the continuing trespassing warnings that are in place to protect visitors.

History and Background

San Pedro's Sunken City boasts an intriguing history. It's a picturesque destination, with tourists coming to take in the panoramic views. It was once a thriving residential area in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. But, the clay beneath it was unstable. Natural disasters, like landslides, occurred. Homes and roads crumbled into the ocean, leading to its tragic fate in 1929.

How the Sunken City became a popular spot for street artists is also captivating. In 1987, the city denied a development proposal. Locals started exploring its untamed terrain. There were vacant concrete foundations and a rustic charm. Graffiti enthusiasts saw it as an artistic canvas.

Visitors should know that accessing the area without permission is trespassing. There are safety risks due to its instability and dangerous conditions. Despite the warnings, many still venture down through an opening that locals have secured. Visitors should be aware of the risks of unstable walls and uneven terrain. It could lead to severe injuries or even death.

A historical fact about the Sunken City is that, after San Pedro was annexed by Los Angeles in 1909, wealthy families left Bunker Hill in Downtown LA. Trolley cars linked with Long Beach and Wilmington railways transported them to their new homes from Los Angeles.

Current State and Trespassing Warning

The Sunken City of San Pedro is an irresistible draw for visitors and hikers. It is, however, important to be cautious when visiting due to the current state and trespassing warning. Located in the Los Angeles area, it was closed off to the public in 2013 due to ongoing geological activity that made it unsafe. No reopening date has been set yet, but visitors can still enjoy the views from designated walking trails.

Ignoring the trespassing warning and entering the fenced-off areas could incur a hefty fine or even arrest. The city has implemented strict measures due to incidents of vandalism and dangerous activities by those who don't follow safety protocols. So, visitors are urged to stay on designated paths and respect private property boundaries for their own safety.

Despite being closed off, the Sunken City continues to draw street artists. They have left captivating graffiti art across the walls, reflecting modern issues and events. Visitors can admire these works of art from a safe distance while being respectful of private property owners.

In conclusion, the Sunken City's beauty and rich history make it a great destination for adventure-seekers. It is essential to follow safety protocols and respect the boundaries set by authorities and private property owners. Doing so allows visitors to enjoy the breathtaking ocean views and appreciate the beautiful graffiti artworks without risking harm or legal consequences. So, get out your sea legs and set sail for the Sunken City – an adventure like no other!

Getting to the Sunken City

Discover the secrets of reaching the Sunken City through this section! Find out more about travel options and what you should know before passing through the Port of Long Beach. With careful planning and preparation, you could be exploring this underwater wonderland in no time.

Travel options

The Sunken City awaits - a thrilling adventure! Walking or biking is best for exploring it. For those who don't want to walk, public transport is an option. Plan your journey if you come from farther away. Take a train or bus to Los Angeles and then use public transport to get to San Pedro.

Parking in the Sunken City is limited, so carpooling or rideshares such as Uber or Lyft may be better. Maps or GPS apps can help you avoid getting lost in the area.

Tip: Prepare for heavy traffic and delays in Los Angeles at peak times. Use public transport to avoid costly gas and parking fees. Don't miss out on the surprises of the Sunken City!

Passing through the Port of Long Beach

The bustling Port of Long Beach in California is a popular route for travelers looking to explore the Sunken City of San Pedro. It is widely known as one of the busiest ports in the U.S. and offers an awe-inspiring view of the Pacific Ocean.

Passing through the port is a mesmerizing experience. Nature's vast expanse and the magnificent industrial landscape are a sight to behold. It is also one of the cleanest ports in the world, with 140 shipping lines connecting traders worldwide.

San Pedro's walls are adorned with beautiful murals, ranging from lush landscapes to colorful patterns. The area has a hidden past. In 1929, tectonic activity caused a landslide which resulted in some houses sinking below sea-level.

The Sunken City offers a unique mix of ocean views, graffiti art and interesting crowds. So come and experience the magic of Long Beach and San Pedro.

The Sunken City Experience

Get ready to dive into the depths of San Pedro's stunning sunken city where graffiti art meets the ocean. Offering breathtaking ocean views and landscape, this unique location attracts an eclectic crowd that appreciates urban street art. In this section, we'll explore The Sunken City Experience - an underwater wonderland that will leave you spellbound. We'll take a closer look at the mesmerizing graffiti art that adorns the ruins and the diverse mix of people who flock to this hidden gem.

Ocean Views and Landscape

The Sunken City of San Pedro is an absolute gem! The views of the Pacific Ocean are stunning. Ships come and go from the nearby Port of Long Beach, while nature created a unique landscape of jutting rocks and crumbling cliffs. Plus, there are ramshackle buildings and colorful graffiti art.

The Sunken City's landscape is the result of landslides over several decades. Buildings remain with precarious wood frames that appear to be buckling at wild angles. It's a witness to the unstable geology.

And it's not just nature that made its mark. Get ready to see some bold and beautiful street art! Walls have a story to tell too. The Sunken City is a must-see destination for those seeking unparalleled ocean views and an unforgettable landscape.

Graffiti Art

The Sunken City area is known for its Graffiti Art. It's a modern art form that exhibits the street artists' creativity and cleverness. The walls are a canvas for the artist to reveal their feelings, opinions, and ideas - creating intricate and thought-provoking images.

The Graffiti Art in this area mirrors San Pedro's diverse culture. Different styles and themes are represented - from block letters to figurative work that speaks on social justice, humor, political issues, or pop culture references.

This art form has been a part of San Pedro's artistic history since 1992. German artist Mike Kelley's graffiti room installation sparked the 'Beautiful Losers' movement that launched many art and design careers worldwide.

In conclusion, Graffiti Art in Sunken City area is a sign of the beauty and potency of street art. It shows how art can turn even the most forgotten spaces into something unique and heartening.

Eclectic Crowd

The Sunken City of San Pedro is an amazing place, attracting an eclectic mix of people from all walks of life.

The views of the ocean and the street art installations are truly captivating. Vibrant murals adorn the walls of abandoned houses, and hikers can be seen on cliffside trails. This location has historical significance too, adding to its charm.

Alternative activities, such as meditation, yoga, and nature exploration, are available here. The Sunken City offers plenty of space for relaxation, and its diverse community is sure to leave an impression.

Exploring the Sunken City

As we dive into "Exploring the Sunken City," we'll discover fascinating details on the natural disaster that caused it, learn about the abandoned wood frame homes, and explore the intriguing history of the right and wrong sides of San Pedro. We'll also uncover the events leading up to the 1929 landslide and meet some of the notable residents who once called it home.

Caused by Nature

The Sunken City's features are a sign of nature's strength. Thus, locals and foreign visitors flock to this place. Landslides, erosion and seismic activity have shaped the site's topography. It makes an edgy and captivating landscape that is one of a kind.

It used to be a neighborhood with bungalows and wood-frame homes. But natural disasters destroyed or forced people to abandon them. You can still see the remains. They give visitors a unique look into the city's past.

The Sunken City is on top of a slide plane that moves one inch per year. This movement is too much for the remaining structures. That is why parts of the site have warning signs. Visitors should stay away.

But if you explore it, you will see fantastic sights. Nature has left its mark. The Sunken City's wood frame neighborhood was wrecked by Mother Nature, but it is an amazing sight.

Wood Frame Homes

The wood frame homes of San Pedro's Sunken City are a unique sight. Built in the early 1900s, these homes were favored by wealthy Los Angelenos for vacationing. Tourists can still see them, partially submerged on cliffs above the Pacific Ocean.

The homes mix together architectural styles like Spanish Colonial Revival, Craftsman, and Prairie School. Some have vanished due to land shifts or demolitions. But the remaining ones are a key part of San Pedro's past.

Unfortunately, visitors can only admire the structures from the outside. Their doors are blocked off for safety, and signs mark the area as "No Trespassing". So people must be mindful not to break the law, or else they risk fines or even danger.

Plus, recent reports tell of parts of these homes collapsing. Visitors should exercise caution when taking pictures or gathering mementos.

In summary, exploring the Sunken City is an unforgettable experience. It is important to choose which side to explore carefully, as one could come across beautiful views or authorities. The wood frame homes here are a meaningful part of California's architectural history.

Right and Wrong Sides

The Sunken City in San Pedro is a popular place for those who want to explore the remains of a wooden community. It was partially destroyed in 1929 by a landslide! Despite the dangerous terrain and unstable condition, it still attracts people to come and explore, as well as graffiti artists. However, visitors should be aware that trespassing is NOT allowed- heavy fines may come with it.

Exploring the Sunken City requires one to choose between two paths: the right side or the wrong side of the fence. Both are illegal, but offer different experiences. The right side gives clear views, safer terrain, and less graffiti art. On the contrary, the wrong side offers closer access to the ruins, riskier terrain, and more graffiti art.

Both sides of the fence have their own unique features. For instance, the right side offers beautiful coastal views, but may not have the rustic charm of the left side. The wrong side gives a closer look to the ruins, but also increases risk of injury or arrest.

No matter which path you take, it is essential to be careful and respect the restrictions in place. Nature can be unpredictable at times- stay safe and admire this historic and artistic site from a distance!

1929 Landslide San Pedro

In 1929, a disastrous landslide forever changed the Sunken City of San Pedro. Clay soil in the area was unsteady, causing destruction and damage to the region. Wood-frame homes crumbled and plunged into the ocean.

The disaster meant officials had to declare the Sunken City unsafe. Despite this, some adventurers still sneak in to explore its ruins. Warning signs remind trespassers that they will be prosecuted if caught on the site.

Now, a few wealthy people have oceanfront homes there. The view is amazing...and a little scary. The 1929 landslide has altered the city, but it still has an irresistible charm.

Meet the Rich People

The San Pedro Sunken City is a wonder. It has amazing ocean views and striking graffiti art. People from all backgrounds come here to explore, including some of the city's well-off locals.

You'll meet different people on your journey. Some of the moneyed come for the atmosphere and history. As you wander, you may even run into some of these wealthy people.

The Sunken City's worth is hinted at by its affluent guests. It's a popular spot because of its scenic beauty, wooden buildings, and exciting landscape.

Though, it's essential to know that trespassing is not allowed. So, while you could meet some of the city's rich inhabitants, make sure you stay safe and follow the rules.


We have concluded our exploration of the sunken city and its street art. The creative genius is clear - history and modern art combined to preserve heritage sites and communicate messages.

The murals and graffiti offer a visual delight. They also have deeper meaning, a way to spread social messages. The art reflects on society's issues, making it more relevant and important.

The combination of art and history in the sunken city is a trend in the art world. Heritage sites are preserved and messages conveyed through street art. This keeps history alive for future generations.

One artwork displays the sinking of the city. Colors create a vivid impression of the tragedy. Beauty, tragedy, and hope are evoked, giving a surreal quality to the sunken city.

The sunken city and its vibrant street art leave a lasting impression on visitors. An experience combining art, history, and social messages. Art can create beauty out of tragedy and leave a meaningful impact.

Five Facts About the Sunken City & Street Art:

  • ✅ The Sunken City of San Pedro was once a beachfront community that sank into the ocean due to a landslide in 1929. (Source: California Curiosities)
  • ✅ The Sunken City is currently illegal and considered trespassing to enter, but many people still visit the area to see the ruins and graffiti art. (Source: Atlas Obscura)
  • ✅ The sunken city offers ocean views, the remains of a 1929 landslide, and colorful graffiti art on every rock and crevice. (Source: California Curiosities)
  • ✅ The Port of Long Beach, which visitors pass through to get to the Sunken City, is experiencing a backlog of ships waiting to dock and unload due to increased online shopping during the pandemic. (Source: Navisavi App)
  • ✅ The Sunken City brings in an eclectic crowd of stoners, teenage drinkers, people trying cigarettes for the first time, hikers, families, and thrill-seekers. (Source: California Curiosities)

FAQs about The Sunken City & Street Art

What is the Sunken City in San Pedro and how did it come to be?

The Sunken City in San Pedro, California is a site where a landslide in 1929 caused several wood frame homes to fall into the Pacific Ocean. The collapsed land connected Pacific Ave to Paseo Del Mar and took out Red Car rail tracks and sidewalks. This caused nature, basically saying that building in the area was wrong and led to the abandonment of the land for decades.

Is it legal to visit the Sunken City?

No, it is currently illegal and considered trespassing to enter the Sunken City. Trespassers can receive $450 citations and their vehicles can be towed for $375 + $175 a day for storage.

What can people see at the Sunken City?

Visitors to the Sunken City can see the ruins and unstable rock mounds remain, with remnants of house foundations, broken water pipes, and lost manhole covers. Graffiti is a major attraction, creating a kaleidoscope of colorful designs on every rock and crevice. People can even see painted palm trees, making it look like an outdoor art gallery.

What are the risks of visiting the Sunken City?

The surrounding community reports trespassers due to attempted break-ins, graffiti, loud partying, bonfires, and assaults, making it dangerous for visitors. Rescues by the LA Fire Dept are a weekly occurrence due to falls along the unstable terrain, causing several injuries and even deaths.

Why is the Port of Long Beach experiencing a backlog of ships?

The Port of Long Beach is experiencing a backlog of ships waiting to dock and unload due to increased online shopping during the pandemic. This backlog has caused delays in the shipping industry, impacting global trade and supply chain.

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