Echo Park boathouse gets bronzed

The formerly beige Echo Park Lake Boathouse is now sporting a new bronze – or is it Harvest Gold? – paint color and copper collar under the lighthouse as part of  an extensive renovation of the 80-year old building. Is this the original color? It’s hard to say. Project manager Ohaji K. Abdalla with the city’s Bureau of Engineering said:

The color shown at this time is the final stucco coat.  Due to the many stucco fixes performed on the building , without proper preservation techniques, we cannot source the original color of the building.  The color chosen is typical for Spanish Colonial buildings of this era.

While the $1.3 million project is nearly complete, the new bronze boathouse won’t be opened until the $65 million clean up and rehabilitation of Echo Park Lake is finished sometime next year.

Related Links:

  • The leaning lighthouse of Echo Park is back on a solid footing. The Eastsider
  • Do you like your bridges green or red? The Eastsider


  1. Cant wait to tag that thing!

  2. Bureau of Engineering = Fail.

    Really? “Impossible” to tell? It took me about 2 minutes to source the original color of the building.

    It’s white.

    Maybe it’s “off-white” or maybe even “Cream”, but there is no way that the original color of the building is anywhere near whatever that color is.

    This is not even a comment upon the aesthetic of their copper/bronze choice. This is a comment upon $65 million dollars being spent and nobody caring enough to actually look into it, because it is more than likely that somewhere in the Department of Building and Safety or the City Archives or the Parks Department there is hard evidence in the form of blueprints or descriptions of the completed building that would inform what the original color of the boathouse was.

    Here are some links to photos of the boathouse in the LA Public Library photo archives from the 1930’s, a few years after the boathouse was built.

    I understand that Black and White Photos cannot provide definite proof as to what color it was originally, but what color does that boathouse look to be to you all?



    • I agree but the 65 million is not being spent on that building.

      • Hmm, I thought part of that money was going for the boathouse renovations, but I suppose that could have come from somewhere else and the 65 million is just for the water.

        I’m glad they’re fixing it up, don’t get me wrong. The idea that the boathouse could become a functional piece of the park for more than the 3 hours a week they rent paddleboats is intriguing.

        I just don’t believe it was “impossible” to find out what color it was originally.

    • I’ll bet my painter could have done it for under $65K.

  3. Simple buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style always look so much better in white. What a strange choice.

  4. It’s too bright!!! the sun shines off of it!!!! it’s worse than the green dot plaza!!! I CAN’T SEE!!! lol

  5. Did the Office of Historic Resources or the Cultural Heritage Commision review/approve this color? It certainly was never presented to the community.

  6. I think it’s hard to tell from the pictures posted above what the color is. One shot shows a white like color, another shot shows the building as being darker.

    Either way was this ugly bronze color used back in the 30’s on any building in LA??

  7. Gotta agree: that bronze is not so good. I’ve seen versions of that color done well, but in this case, a white or near white would show off the tile and other details so much better.

  8. did we really think the city staff would go out of their way to be helpful?

  9. Well, I think it looks pretty good.

  10. Let it dry! you’ll love it when it dries…

  11. I like the color. I think it looks great. But YES, it is insulting to think that we would be dumb enough to swallow that answer. “Due to the many stucco fixes performed on the building , without proper preservation techniques, we cannot source the original color of the building.” True, without proper preservation techniques, But isn’t at the very least the echo park historic society involved? Or any historical society or conservancy involved in this hugely historic preservation project? Or like our friend pointed out some photos?
    There’s noway to please everybody when it comes to a paint color. That’s for sure. But there was maybe a better way to answer that question? I look forward to the reopening of the park. I really miss it.

  12. I think it looks great and am excited to see how the boathouse will be used. Glad they’re only spending 1.3m on it, rather than 65m.

  13. I vote they put a cafe in the boat house!
    I’ll get my coffee there no matter what color the building is!

  14. Prior to Echo Park being approved for water reclamation from Proposition O, there
    was another funding source for the restoration of the boat house – and I forget which it was. CD 13 office should know.

    When the project is completed, there will be a Request for Proposal to go out for bid to
    create use for the kitchen and the renting of the boats. I have suggested to Homeboy Industries that the organization apply…

  15. Do I hear Jose Sigala, President of the GEPE Neighborhood Council weighing
    in on this matter by circulating an informational petitition and asking people
    to respond to a non-GEPENC address…… for reasons unknown…and certainly
    not for the color of the paint………..

  16. The neighborhood council had no official position on the color of the boathouse and the LA County Conservancy only asks that the color be painted in “period colors”. The color is fine for the time period. I think it looks modern, fresh and I can’t wait for the lotus to come back.
    I believe the restoration to the boathouse was proposed at around a million dollars. The rest of the money is alotted for the lake reconstruction. Which, I have heard will be near 50 million dollars to clean, restructure, replace the pipes and refill. There will be a complete overhaul of the running track, playground and landscaping.

    I am so happy to see the pride restored to such a significant landmark. 🙂

    • Neighborhood Council

      1st of all, the Neighborhood Council couldn’t care less about the pre-War history of Echo Park, so the idea that they didn’t have an opinion on the boat house is not surprising.

      2nd of all, the Boathouse is a Historic Cultural Monument. The whole lake is. It’s not supposed to look “modern.”

  17. The color appears to be informed by the church across the street from it. Not the worst choice in the world as far as i’m concerned as long as the adjacent structures follow suit.

  18. Below is a link to a 1940s Los Angeles booster film on YouTube, showing the bright white-walled historic boathouse as it is meant to look.


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