Experienced. Cost‑effective. Responsive. Woman-owned.

Historic highschool on Fort Morgan Hill ca. 1891

Los Angeles Unified School District

Central Los Angeles High School #9, Burial Recovery Project

Coordinated removal of remains from a historic cemetery in downtown Los Angeles.

LA High School 1908Fort Moore was established in Los Angeles during the 1840s. Part of the site was turned into a cemetery, beginning in 1853; known as Los Angeles City Cemetery, the burial ground was taken over by the City in 1869 and closed by 1879. School construction projects in the 1890s-1940s led to many burials being uncovered.

Burial RecoveryIn 2005, initial grading for construction of a new high school at Fort Moore Hill led to the discovery that not all burials had been removed. Charlane Gross, prior to founding GrassRoots, served as burial recovery task leader.

Project Tasks

  • Excavated 173 burial features
  • Identifed social clusters such as Masonic and Odd Fellows sections of the cemetery
  • Conducted field analysis of the 109 grave lots that included human remains
  • Guided initial stages of artifact analysis

Urban Development

More and more historical cemeteries are being relocated for modern construction; when they were established, they lay on the outskirts of cities, but as cities expanded, they surrounded and even covered over these remains of the 18th and 19th centuries.

In recent years, thousands of burials have been removed from mid-city cemeteries in California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.