The closure of Echo Park Lake begins *

Photo by Jose Sigala

Visitors to Echo Park Lake this morning were met with the sight of workers installing an approximately six-foot high chain link fence around the entire park in preparation for an approximately two-year long clean up that will leave the park and lake off limits to the public. The $64 million project, which includes the draining of the lake,  is intended to improve water quality but will also result in some noticeable changes to the landscape and historic landmarks in the park, Olga Morales, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Works, said it might take until Thursday before the fence is complete and the park sealed off.  A meeting to update residents on the project is scheduled for July 20. Details about the meeting and other portions of the project can be found at echoparklake.org

* Update: One of the workers said they expected to finish installing  about a mile of fencing around the park  by Wednesday.  After starting on Park Avenue, workers stretched the fence along Echo Park and Bellevue avenues before coming to stop on Glendale Boulevard near Santa Ynez Street.

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  1. I drove by the lake this morning and saw how many guys they have working–does that fact that it’s going to take a decent-sized crew of men 2 to 3 days just to finish FENCING OFF the lake make anyone else nervous about how long the actual improvement is going to take?

  2. Can we get some final word about when the lake will be drained. I heard the announcement a couple-few weeks ago that they had changed their mind about starting the draining now, decided instead to wait until next spring. Now some people are saying that is not so, the draining will be started now.

    So, what is the definitive word on that — will the draining start now 0r next spring? Have they again changed their mind and will start the draining now?

  3. What will happen to the animals there?

  4. B.D. – yes

  5. no way this gets wrapped up in two years.

  6. what a joke, I live across the street and heard them doing this in the early AM. What a waste of money, wasn’t the water just cleaned about 3-4 years ago, this is what my landlord informed me of. This all seems fishy (haha), seems like who ever is making this decision is a buddy with whoever is handling the project. If the city cared so much about the lake, they would have been up-keeping it ever since, but they neglected it completely. And now when CA is in debt enough and we are making plenty of cuts we are doing this. There is nothing wrong with the lake other then the ‘lighthouse’ which is being redone on its on project funding, why they are taking on a second part is beyond me. There is no reason to fence off the grass let alone the lake. What a joke, its going to be sad how many “delays” they are going to run into. I never wanted to leave the lakeside and now will be forced to.

  7. There will be a community meeting on Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 pm, St. Paul’s Cathedral at 840 Echo Park Avenue. The idea being, residents like “wow” can learn why they are fencing off the grass along with the whole lake….

  8. hell no the animals are expandeble assets when it comes to $65 million dollars. this is what happens when people dont come to the meetings and see where the bull crap of all this wast of money is comming from. funny thing is they have no maintanance budget when the work is completed…do I hear another cha ching when the lake goes to crap again in another 10 years and more money will have to be spent.
    this plan is set up to fail and what about the historical aspect of the lake? all this expenisive foiliage is changing the lakes origional apeal of open water for over 100 years, good buy to fishing… your health and realestate will be compromised…I have have done my research on the toxic levels of the lake and cant wait for them to be air born.

    LA politics gotta love it.
    see you all there who posted here and bring some friends if this issue really concerns you enough so you expressed it here first. thank you

  9. You can’t overestimate the importance of this lake to the community. As long as there’s water in it, people will want to lounge next to it– just driving by it is the ultimate stress reliever. Yesterday there was fencing around 2/3 of the park but people were on the grassy areas all around the lake as if there was no fence there. That flimsy chainlink fence won’t keep people out as long as there’s water in the lake & grass to sit on, which will be the case for several more months it sounds like.

  10. Angel is right regarding folks not coming to meetings the community does not get what it wants. So community members, START GOING TO MEETINGS

  11. People, the lake has to be cleaned and banks repaired. It’s sad the shape it’s in. And Her.

    Like closing the 405 it’s not an easy task. We’ll miss walking around, lounging, fishing there. We all worry about the avian and aquatic life — truth be told, the fishing is a shadow of what it once was. Pretty poor in reality. EP Lake was probably the best fishing lake in the City, far better than Lincoln, Hollenbeck or MacArthur.

    Really, I like to hear concern re the animals but won’t all mentioned animal life do better in a cleaner, greener environment? Of course they will. I have heard they will be taken care of, I can only trust they will be. The cleanup has to be done.

    The boathouse is one of the saddest stories of the lake — as kids we bought burgers and sodas, candy and popcorn, and they sold worms for fishing. There were canoes to paddle, the structure was classic and safe. Before the fence went up I checked the beams, dry rotted and half-eaten by termites. Looked like a tear down to my eye. Some historic buildings, sad to say, may not be rehabbed. Boat house looked rotten enough to be pulled down by cable.

    I am extremely happy to hear the storm drain situation on the north end will eventually have a filter system. If you’re not aware of it, like a pond in a depression EP Lake has always been where storm runoff accumulates. That’s what the concrete structure is on the Sunset Bl. end.

    I support the cleaning, greening and restoration of the lake and the park surrounding. When done we’ll be happy, the Lady will be restored to a place of honor at the point where she once stood and where she belongs, with the ugly pump house removed. The water will be far cleaner, animal life healthier therein.

    It will take time and money and hassle. Big projects do that in big cities. I for one believe it will all be worth it. Forward.

  12. for those that actually walk around the lake, let alone have paddle boated in it, then you know how polluted this man made lake is. as sad as it that it will be down for a while, thank god it got funded to be restored to a new glory !

  13. 2-3 days to put up that much fencing sounds about right. I don’t know why anyone thinks it would take less time except that they aren’t builders and think things are built by magic.

  14. @ Ez & DarrellKuni……you are soo right! Echo Park Lake is one of those iconic LA spots that I show to visitors. A beautiful lake in the middle of the city, lovely in the evening when the downtown skyline is visible in the fading sunlight. It makes me smile just to drive by it. For years, I used to come along with all the other lotus lovers & photographers and photograph those beautiful flowers. Several years ago, it became evident that they were slowly dying. So sad. The lake has been sorely mistreated and trashed. I’m convinced that’s what killed the lotuses.

    Here’s hoping that in two years the lake will be beautiful again, and people will appreciate her even more and everyone and everything around her will be healthier and happier.

  15. People please come on!!! This is not a man made lake…where do you get your information from? Silver lake and the Hollywood resevoir are the only man made lakes in Los Angeles. Mc, Arthur park, Lincoln, hollenbeck and other small lakes in LA once were natural lakes, until human intervention sought to improve it and then in todays reality only came to destroy it.

    Theres is no doubt in my mind and I am not argueing the fact that the lake needs to be repaired, but had the City of Los Angeles not mis managed our tax paying dollars the lake would have been properly maintaned, this is the product as with any product that you buy, if you dont maintain it…IT WILL BREAK DOWN!!! But to spend 65 million and expect it to be done in 2 years come on…the echo park recreation center on bellevue was to be 2 years and it took 5 and its still not done, let alone the echo park indoor pool was another 2 yr lie and that also took another 5 years…I mean come on people when are you going to get your facts st8.

    I will not support a project that will compromise the health of my family, neighbors and friends like this will, once this lake bottom goes air born all will be compromised, I mean the exposure…why isnt anyone thinking of the logic here, our rainy reasong is 6 months and can u imagine how long its going to take for that bottom to dry for the equipment to gain traction…This is nothing to the 405 freeway, that has no impact to the natural enviornment other then the selfish conveniance of those who dont care about anything…

    Dont beleive everything you hear, because if its not in paper its not going to happen. I should know I have been in touch with these run arounders and I know what is going on here…

  16. And your solution would be…? Sounds like you’d like to leave things as they presently are, a mess.

    “…why isnt anyone thinking of the logic here?” I think we are. Logic is clean it up, do best you can, cause hassle but for cripe’s sake fix the problem. Now, while there is money at-hand.

    I hope for the animals health and for those who live closeby. To leave things as they are only makes the problem, over time, worse. Passing it onto the future is no solution, it’s avoidance.

    Agree that anything will as you say break down. LA’s post-war infrastructure (of all sorts) is showing age, big projects (like 405 bridge) are in near future, or now. Take our streets, they are in terrible shape, see NW corner of Sunset and Alvarado for that pit in front of Burrito King, or Temple east of the Arco station. Ask your suspension how they’re feeling these days in town. Repair shops are happy. I’d like to see entire stretches closed and repaired, no problem I’ll take other streets. Those who live on those streets will have to put up with the temporary hassle, sorry but it’s part of living in a big city.

    EP Lake needs a root canal. Putting it off just doesn’t work.

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