Put on your hard hat−it’s time to visit Echo Park Lake

More than 100 people had signed up to take a tour today of the construction zone that is Echo Park Lake.  The members of the public−as well as bloggers–escorted by city employees walked down to where the lake had been to get a closer look at vast expanse of dirt ringed by a towering wall of concrete and newly constructed rocky shores of riprap.  The multimillion dollar lake clean up and rehabilitation project is about 60% complete and is expected to be finished by late next spring, said project manager Marlon Calderon. Water could start flowing into the rebuilt lake within two months to fill the northwest corner of the lake where a new lotus bed will be replanted. Of course, if it rains, the lake could start filling up sooner than expected. Click on the link for more photos.

A construction worker takes a stroll on the lake bottom near the park bridge.  About 60 construction workers can be found at the lake on a typical week day.

A new shoreline of riprap spills down to the bottom of the now dry lake bed from the tip of the peninsula on the north end of the lake. The barrier on the left will enclose one of several areas that will be planted with wetlands.

The park path on the east side of the lake near the boathouse has been turned into a small highway where dump trucks loaded with dirt and earth moving equipment come and go from the lake bed.

New ceiling fans and a restaurant-grade kitchen have been installed in the boathouse. No word if the bronze colored exterior will remain.

A pink crane equipped with a hose spreads concrete over the eastern shore of the lake.

Related Links:

  • Behind The Fence: Tour of Echo Park Lake Construction. Echo Park Now
  • Public visits Echo Park Lake project. Patch
  • Scenes From A Drain: Echo Park Lake construction tour. KPCC


  1. Looks like it’s on the way to recovery. Hurray!

  2. It felt good to be walking around in the park again, even if only for a short time.

  3. Hopefully the powers that be install an interesting restaurant in the boathouse. What a great opportunity. Something like Shake Shack would probably work well, and there are plenty of local restaurateurs who can pull off something similar.

    • That’s a GREAT idea. The kitchen is a pretty sophisticated operation and can definitely handle the demands of being an elegant little hub.

      Loving this whole project the more I see it coming together.

    • That would be amazing! Get a hot little restaurant in there, and draw people down to the Lake from Sunset Blvd! Make the neighborhood more three-dimensional! Hopefully the jogging path around the lake will be spruced up as well.

  4. are they going to bring back the paddle boats?

  5. Looking pretty great! And not nearly the life-altering headache certain commenters were promising.

  6. We’re all hopeful and that’s great — let’s remember people they are spending 82 million dollars on this project — I repeat, 82 million dollars.

    When finished it’d darn better look and act like 82 million dollars.

  7. Drove by the park today, and the boathouse just looks awful with the bronze stucco coating. As the most prominent architectural feature of the space, this mistake is going to spoil the entire restoration of the lake and park for me, and I think it will have a similar negative impression on anyone who has a sense of history or aesthetics, or simply an interest in seeing this historic landmark brought back to its original appearance as part of a very expensive civic project.

    The bronze color is demonstrably inaccurate and wrong for the period, as discussed in a previous Eastsider LA comment thread. Can anything be done, while the work is still in progress, to get the boathouse properly restored to its original white or ivory color scheme? Was there any discussion of this problem during the tour?

  8. If all goes to plan, the lotus beds will grow back in– also there will be natural wetlands areas in the corners of the lake, a decomposed granite path meandering around the lake for people to walk and run on, there’ll be a sustainable environment for fish and other wildlife in the lake, and other improvements– but the paint color on the boathouse is supposed to “spoil the entire restoration of the park and lake?”

    • Yes, precisely. To quote Raymond Chandler, this crummy stucco job “looks about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.” The park and community deserve better.

  9. I would like to make a few point about Propostion O/Echo Park lake.

    1. They have handled our fish and wild life poorly. They have violated many California Department of fish and game codes with the handling of our ducks and fish. I recently brought up that i had seen turtles on the project site our understanding was that all turtles where all adopted. I took some pictures because there where two dead turtles and there enviorment was not a healthy one. After I made this comment they where all removed. I hope everybody can ask what happen to the rest of the turtles?

    2. They have put the Echo Park community Health at risk with all the dust from the project site. You must keep in mind what lead can do to our children and the toxic dust can do to our lungs. Please read the report (EIR) on Echo park Lake and you will find that lead hot spots where found all over the lake.

    3.Echo Park Lake was know very well in the fishing community as the jewel of bass fishing. I myself have fished Echo Park for many years and worked on many projects with fish and game to keep up our great fishery. One of the most important parts of echo park lakes fishery is that around the 80’s Fish spawning ground where built in to give fish all they need to keep an on going year round fishery. Since the 80’s we have done many studies with fish and game on the quality of our bass and the results where that echo park lake was raising bass well over the 10 pound mark. I have stress to the project managers how important our fishery is important to our community. Echo Park Lake has always been a get away for the youth of echo park keeping them of the street and fishing.

    I wish i had the time to write more because there is alot more that is going wrong with this project. I have one more thing to add did anybody see the little girl she must have been 4 or 5 walking in the tour on the project site. I may i remind everybody the site has lead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and its flying all around the site and even in to our community. I ask that you try to attend these meeting they are very important yours and childrens health. I also ask that you do your research these are no laughing matters. Hope to see you at the next meetings

  10. What a bunch of baseless whining.

  11. @ Pretty:

    the only thing baseless here is the time to you took to add your pointless comment which has no grounds or merit to add anything or contribute to this thread.

    If you actually took the time to come to a meeting rather then getting your opinion from god knows where, you to would find a reason to be concerned about the things that were mentioned in the story and people’s comments.

    Read the EIR report if you dont know what that is here you go, Environmental Impact Report is what it means.

  12. @Angel, thanks. @Baseless, take a hike to another blog.

    There are concrete concerns because there are violations occurring with project.

  13. @Angel: We’re discussing a project that’s been years in the making, costs 10s of millions of dollars, in a neighborhood that has been traditionally underserved by useful city infrastructure, and half (not all!) the comments merely gripe about the expense, complain about the color of the boathouse, and re-homing of turtles? These comments show a lack of imagination, and a pettiness that will impede actual *progress* for the neighborhood.

    These comments also show a reactive mindset that is disheartening — i.e., wait for the city to do something, then criticize small elements of it.

    Contrast this with: think of something good to do, get organized, and get it done. I believe I have read, in another thread, an idea about getting a fishing program going, which sounded excellent to me.

    Now we’re getting farther afield, but I think this attitude, or tendency — and I share it too — is an unhelpful neurosis of residents of northeast LA.

    • Ok Preety

      you are right there are some people that complain about the dumb things like the color of the boat house and which direction the lady of the lake should be faced.

      All I was concerned about is the health of the public who reside directly in and around the lake who are affected by their construction with the flying dust knowing that there is lead and mercury in that lake bottom that can impact someones life, let alone those people who have asthma the poor soals.

      I all can ask is people who read this post attend the meetings and ask questions, I take pictures all the time and they are not doing what they say they are. with an 84 million dollar budget there should be no excuse why there isnt enough money to cover health and safety for the community and their employees.


  14. And I admit, the tone of my original reply was crap, and I regret it.

  15. Vincent Montalvo

    After I attended the august 16, 2012 tour of the project site i was more shocked at what they were feeding the public about how there $86 million dollar project was going to clean up our lake. They said nothing about how they were going to maintain our $86 million dollar project. So I asked the question and they said there is no money or plan to mantain it, it will be pass on to Recreation and Parks department. Wow! remember $86 million and no plan to maintain it plus they are passing it on to a department who has no money or staff to operate this $86 million dollar investment.
    I have been part of many diffrent lake clean ups and Echo park is at the top of the screwed up list. You know its bad when your project manger is reading off a sheet of papers of how your $86 million is being spent and when you ask a question and his only responce is “I am not sure let me get back to you” on 90% of the questions he never get back to me still waiting for the first answer to my many questions.

    Some asked where i was getting my information from just click on this link to :http://www.lapropo.org/sitefiles/EchoParkLake/intro.htm

    And Echo Park Lake was identified in the 2006 California 303 (d) list as being impaired by algae, ammonia, copper, eutrophic (low oxygen) conditions, lead, odor, PCBs, pH, and trash.

    Please remember I dont ask that you believe me but please do your resarch before you leave a comment.

  16. Vincent Montalvo

    One more point of information about the little girl (4 to 5 years old) that was on the tour on august 16, 2012. Someone said it was not unhealthy for someone of that age to be on the project site WRONG! . Everybody knows how bad lead can effect a childs developing brain why let her on a site that and once again do resarch has Lead on the project site. I can not stress how important it is for all of you that have children, seniors and just any echo park resident attend the propostion O meeting.

    Some asked where i was getting my information from just click on this link to :http://www.lapropo.org/sitefiles/EchoParkLake/intro.htm

    And Echo Park Lake was identified in the 2006 California 303 (d) list as being impaired by algae, ammonia, copper, eutrophic (low oxygen) conditions, lead, odor, PCBs, pH, and trash.

    Please remember I dont ask that you believe me but please do your resarch before you leave a comment.

    • That the lake was impaired is precisely the point of its clean up. The procedures followed were rigorous, the planning excellent and the outcome a tremendous asset to the local community. The lotus are back and the community is happy.

      Naysayer! Find something to do other than complain and misinform others ….

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