Echo Park Lake Boathouse fenced off*

Photo by Dean Decent

Workers erected a chain link fence around the Echo Park Lake Boathouse this morning. “It’s not clear if they were putting up fencing in other parts of the park,” said Dean Decent who snapped the above photo. What’s going on? The boathouse’s paddle boats were put out of business nearly two years ago by city budget cuts and the upcoming $64.7 million clean up of the lake, which will force the closure of the entire park for nearly two years, is not scheduled to begin until this summer.  The Eastsider is checking with the Department of Recreation and Parks and Council District 13 to see what’s up.*

The 1932 boathouse and its lighthouse beacon is also scheduled to be renovated during the lake clean up and closure.

* Update: Julie Wong from Council District 13 explains the fence: “The fencing is part of the Prop 40-funded boathouse renovations.  Although separate from the Prop O renovations, both projects are intended to improve and beautify Echo Park Lake for the community to enjoy. This phase of the renovation includes new foundation walls on the side that faces the park, steel beams and concrete piles, seismic retrofitting, a new HVAC system, day lighting porthole windows in the tower, new stucco, and security mechanisms.”

Meanwhile, the city Department of Public Works expects to award a contract for the  lake clean up within the next month or two, said spokeswoman Michelle Vargas. No start date has been set but Vargas said work will begin this summer sometime after the Lotus Festival takes places in mid-July.

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  1. I noticed the paddle boats had been removed a few weeks ago as well. I hope they’re just renovating and not shutting that whole area down. I never had the chance to facilitate the paddle boats but have always wanted to.

  2. Could someone please close the window in the tower to keep the birds out?

  3. OH SO MANY STORIES TO TELL ABOUT THE BOAT HOUSE have a ton. Its not the birds you should worry about, it’s the RATS….

  4. Does anyone know if the boats will eventually be brought back to Echo Park and Mac Arthur Park?

  5. does it make any sense to do it in this order? renovate the boat house before tearing up the entire park and sending in bulldozers, etc.? i don’t think it does, at all.

  6. Of course it doesn’t make sense. This is entirely based on funding and projects that were probably scoped out years ago in isolation from each other. And I’m sure it’s too late to change that.

  7. A worker today told my husband that the boat house is being torn down. Once again Los Angeles destroys its history and wastes money on needless “improvements”. And by the way, there is nowhere for the turtles to go.
    I really don’t understand the need to destroy history — and some of our animals along with it.
    Please correct me if I am wrong. I know I’m not about the turtles.

  8. that guy hangs fence for a living; I doubt he knows much about the actual plans for anything.

  9. Just a few quick points to think about before they start Propostions O/Echo Park:
    1. What will happen to the rest of the wildlife? (fish,birds,turtles)

    2. What will happen to the health of seniors,adults, and child during the two year constrution. We will be exposed to fine dust particals that will containe harmful deposits.

    3. Anybody who lives in echo park already knows how bad the traffic already is, now add dumptruck,tractors, and all other vehicles that will be used for this project.

    4. All the noise and the smells that will come from the dry lakebed.

    5. Where will the poor people who live around the lake park there cars.

    6. Will this project lower the property value in Echo Park. You think the lake smells bad now wait untill the summer we are all in for a rude awakening.

    I think this project needs to be restudied for the impact it will have on health, recreation, wildlife and local business in our Echo Park community. Remember maria(mario) has found a home at the Los Angeles Zoo, but what will happen to the other wild and domistic ducks that call Echo Park home. I hope everybody learns somthing from this is to attend meeting and ask questions propostion O is our taxpayers money. Some buddy has to speak up!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I’ve been a daily walker at the lake for years, so I’d love to hear more from Echo Park Lady about the boathouse!

  11. in my humble opinion, this whole lake rehab is a shakedown. it’s about raising property values for new developments, like those ugly townhouses on echo park ave just north of park. there are so many better uses for $80 million dollars in our neighborhood! so the water’s eutrophic… do we spend $80 million and undergo all the hassle just to fix eutrophic water? as has been mentioned, the birds & turtles don’t seem to mind. they could repave the walking paths & call it a day, as far as i’m concerened. it’s a shakedown.

  12. A Homeless Gentleman

    was hanging out by ther early today and one of those workers told me that they would do a cookoff of much of the wildlife that is currently in the lake…I did not believe this but then he showed me that he had a BBQ and a packet of seasoning. This really made me angry !

    I don’t think its a shakedowi just think that the city workers are trying too find a way to eat for free at the expense of animals. no cookouts for city workers !

  13. won’t somebody please think of the turtles!!!

  14. Guys, it’s an urban lake that needs help, cleaning, mucking and patching. It is terribly sick and needs intense rehab.

    Those living nearby are going to be inconvenienced; I hope they keep the muck wet when removed or dust/heavy metals/other toxins will waft. The fish, turtles and animals will be upset for a couple of years, no avoiding that. Hope only they can be relocated, some will return, others I’m sure won’t.

    As an angler I’d like to see the fish relocated to other nearby urban lakes. And when it is refilled it gets fish more accessible to the average fisher, including children.

    EP Lake was, for many decades, a great place for kids to learn the sport of fishing. Check historical photos for the old Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher days. The lake was ringed with kids fishing and having a grand time. We were regulated as to when we could fish, 9 a.m. — noon, and that was it. There was a ranger on patrol. Printed cards with fishing rules were issued. There were canoes to rent. It was a wonderful place.

    Today’s Echo Park Lake is a shadow — a ruin, if you will — of its former self. This is the reality.

    When I walk there I try to comfort myself with the fact that the place still functions, but I remember what were the good, old days at the lake. You should have seen the lotuses, lily pads, stands of giant bamboo, the huge soft-shelled turtle who ruled the place.

    The boat house, historical as it is is a tear-down. We bought burgers, root beer, ice cream and red wigglers for bait there. Today it is rife with vermin and termites and probably can’t be restored. Take a look at the timbers next time you pass, about 50% eaten.

    The lake needs a complete overhaul. It won’t be simple nor easily accomplished. It is going to take a long time and a lot of money. It will be unsightly and uncomfortable and possibly unhealthy to be nearby.

    I hope one day the lake will be healed, fish and animals returned. It will be beautiful again and if the project goes ahead and the work is completed we can all meet as friends and neighbors down by the lake. If they can accomplish what the project intends we will have a park and a lake and a rec zone to be proud of. I will volunteer there.

    I’ve had passing thoughts over the years on starting up a kid’s fishing club, free gear, free advice. But I’ve always stopped. Kids won’t catch anything.

    The base of panfish on which I learned to fish — bluegills, crappie, sunfish and the ocassional bass are gone now. EP Lake once teemed with easy-to-catch panfish. They were more fun than than you can imagine. We made poles from bamboo, strung lines and used wine corks for bobbers. Stores like Sear’s, Thrifty’s and Sav On sold fishing tackle. Good, clean fun.

    There’s a baby boom in EP and around the city, how many kids today have ever held a fishing outfit? Vs. how many hours do they sit in front of tubes indoors?

    I used barbless hooks, we caught plenty and tossed them back. Not going to apologize for catching a fish and releasing it, it’s a sport. I’m one for the project. I know it a bear of a project, too. I look forward to the future, I remember the past.

    If you’re so inclined I’ll give you flyfishing lessons, free, at the new lake.

  15. Seriously DarrellKuni — you think turtles and fish can return? I think you just don’t care about animals. Fine if you fish to eat it — but what’s the point of jerking around a fish you throw back?
    You are very cavalier about life. I wonder how you view people?
    Jakey is so right — it’s a shakedown!!!


  16. DarrellKuni I would love to take fishing lessons from you when the lake re opens. Thanks for the offer.

  17. Can’t argue with you if you’ve gone that far in regards to outdoors recreation. Most of what I wrote advocated for kids. You can’t see that, you ‘wonder how I view people’ Relax, come to your senses. Priorities.

    Thanks Kiz, look me up on the lake when done.

  18. “Shakedown.” Pul-leeze.

    How ’bout the ultra-secret, underwater landing pad for black choppers gubmint is bringing to EP? U heard it here first.

  19. What will the park look like when it is done . Look sad now ?

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