Vandals strike again at the Lady of the Lake

It’s been only  a little more than a year since repairs were completed to the Lady of the Lake to replace the left hand that been broken off the Art Deco-style statue at Echo Park Lake.  Now, not only has the left hand been broken off again but the fingers on the right hand are missing, too.   It’s not clear when the most recent vandalism to strike the Lady of the Lake took place but some people noticed that the statue’s  hands and fingers had been amputated  earlier this month during the  Lotus Festival, according to a post on the Echo Elysian Forum.

The statue, created in 1934 by Ada Mae Sharpless, is no stranger to vandalism ranging from spray paint to pigeon poop. In fact, the statue – officially known as  Nuestra Reina de Los Angeles – was removed from its original location at the tip of the peninsula at Echo Park Lake (where a cinder block pump house now stands) to repair decades of damage.  However, it sat forgotten for more than a decade in the park maintenance yard until residents organized an effort to repair the statue and place it back in the park.   In 1999,  the Lady of the Lake was returned to public view but in a different location on the eastern side of the park.  The Lady of the Lake may once again return to its more prominent spot as part of an $84 million lake rehabilitation project.  Perhaps there will be some money left over to replace those missing fingers and hands.


  1. Dear EastsiderLA,

    I am saddened to hear about this senseless crime. As mentioned in your article a little more than a year ago the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council allocated the funding needed to restore the left hand of the “Nuestra Reina de Los Angeles” (Queen of the Angels) statue also known as the Lady of the Lake.

    During the process of bringing the funding request through the neighborhood council I had the opportunity to learn about the statue’s history and significance. I also came to appreciate the tireless and dedicated work of Suzanne Kimbrough and the local historical society in restoring the Lady of the Lake and bringing her out of the shadows and into the light of day for many to enjoy.

    I join with others in expressing my anger over the defamation of the artistic history and cultural icons of our neighborhood. I see no difference when a developer tears down a cultural and historical home or structure with the mindless vandalism of the Lady of the Lake. Both actions impact the reason why we live here in Echo Park.

    Given the city’s budget financial crisis, I am not sure where the funding many come from to repair the lady of the Lake.

    I am not sure what the cost may be to replace the statue’s hands but I would like to commit to work with other community members in identifying and raising the funds to restore her hands.

    I will ask to see if any of the funding that is dedicated to the rehabilitation of the lake may be used to assist in repairing the statue.

    I will keep you posted.


    Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council

  2. Hi Eastsider, Cheeseburger here. Since I have been monitoring our sunday swamp meet in the park about 4 months now, I would say I noticed the fingers missing about 7-8 weeks ago. Pretty sad since we just had the damn things repaired.

  3. Jose I missed your comment, I think raising money to repair the hands yet again is a good idea, but I also think we should raise the statue? Fence the damn thing in? However it would just give a place for the vendors on sunday to hang things! Consider putting in a donation box at the statue and all local business’s.

  4. Johannes de Silentio

    Bravo, vandal(s)! Another decisive blow against the oppressive efforts of artists and preservationists to uplift our community and extol our cultural heritage. Do continue your brave fight to bring blight and hopelessness back to Echo Park.

  5. Mr. Jose Sigala, President of the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood
    Council fails to realize that the NC has an excess of funds in its 2010-2011 Public
    Improvements Budget that it submitted to the Department
    of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE) recently. The Reserve in the fund was listed
    at $4,350.00 which could easily cover the conservation costs since the repair to the left hand cost approximately $ 1,500.00.

    Ida Talalla

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