14 Secrets of the 1932 Olympic Village in Baldwin Hills BY BIANCA BARRAGAN AUG 6, 2014, 3:40P TWEET SHARE PIN REC Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection The world was “in the depths of a dark abyss of world depression” when the 1932 Olympics rolled around according to the official post-Games report. With that classic Depression-era ingenuity, the 1932 Games were kept affordable. A unique features of these Games was the Olympic Village. Athletes had never been housed dorm-style together, though the Village became a recurring (and increasingly hedonistic) feature of subsequent Olympics. Seeing as the Games would have been on right now (July 30 to August 14), we took a look at the Village, start to finish, and uncovered some of its secrets. -It was decided early on that these Games would require a “special housing arrangement.” The Village would allow for male athletes to be housed, fed, and given space to entertain themselves in a centralized place. The 126 female competitors were sent to the classy Chapman Park Hotel on Wilshire.-There were plenty of detractors to the idea of an Olympic Village. It was thought, says an August 14, 1932 LA Times piece, that men whose “races, beliefs, and ideals conflict” couldn’t be housed in the same area without some kind of disastrous repercussions. But it was a total success, and in fact, many Olympians have fond memories of “trying to overcome the language differences” to make friends with other athletes.-The penny-pinching required of everyone during these Depression-era Games created plenty of challenges for the managing director of the Olympic Village, H.O. Davis, who had to work with a tight budget. How tight? The money the Olympians paid would go back toward breaking even on the construction, but the Committee had agreed to charge just $2 a day per athlete during their stay.
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