The Arch of Echo Park

echo park shade arch

ECHO PARK — We got several emails over the weekend asking what that “arch” or “structure” is rising next to Echo Park Lake. “Seems like it went up really quickly, is it permanent?” asked one reader. Turns out this mystery structure is a temporary art project that is part of CURRENT:LA Public Art Biennial.  Now, the other question being asked is when the artwork will be completed.

The structure is part of La Sombra (The Shade) by Mexican conceptual artist Teresa Margolles. La Sombra, according to biennial website, uses “water to mark 100 murder sites in LA…. Teresa Margolles used the water from that process to erect a single memorial to these victims of violence, and offer a place of respite at Echo Park Lake, where visitors can rest, meditate, and reflect under La Sombra.”

The temporary memorial was supposed to have been completed by today for a nearly month-long stay in northeast corner of the park. But this weekend La Sombra remained surrounded by construction fencing and scaffolding.

The Eastsider has contacted officials with the biennial and Recreation Parks to get an update on the memorial. A Rec & Parks spokeswoman said the piece is temporary but was checking on the status of the project.

arch 2

Photo by Holly Hampton

Photo by Holly Hampton


  1. By definition, an arch is curved, and I think this structure would certainly be more calming and restful if it followed the definition. Perhaps there will be something decorative added?

  2. Is that right on the area where folks play soccer?

    • yeah… literally the only patch of grass big enough for any sort of real activity. I’m glad to learn it’s not permanent.

      They should create some permanent extension of the park where TURF is currently. That could use a shade arch…

    • Not saying it’s good or bad, but I just saw a sign that says soccer is prohibited at the park…everywhere a sign. I saw this “arch” going up and my first thought was WTF. I walked around it trying to find an explanation and of course there wasn’t any.maybe they could have had something explaining what it’s about, considering its taking a bit of public space. I hope it is temporary and maybe it will be covered in plants or something.

    • That’s why the grass is messed up in that area BECAUSE of soccer, and there ARE signs stating NO SOCCER. DO THE MATH.

      • This is still one of the few open spaces in this tiny park where familes and children, thats WORKING CLASS FAMILES, can relax during the week and weekend. Thats what parks are for, right Charles?

  3. La Sombra……hmmmmm, how about a beautiful tree? I love shade,but concrete? We need more nature!!!!

  4. Artsies Fahtsies

    This is a serious piece of art…

    The water that was used to mix the concrete was used to wash and purify the ground where these 100 murders took place around Los Angeles.

    Now the shade is its gift back to the community.

  5. Nice name for the project, given the dual meaning of the word “Shade”.

  6. countdown to the 1st tag starts.. now.

  7. Art is doing its job of provoking thought and controversy. When did concrete become temporary?

    • It’s not solid concrete. It it a 1/2″ plywood substructure that has been skim coated with a 1/16″ concrete slurry.

  8. This is almost as good as that water wheel art project for the river. Meanwhile, homeless still campin’, kids need literacy and recreational ops and streets and sidewalks in bad need of repair all over city. Sorry, just sayin’.

  9. Tax $$$ at work!

  10. Why temporary? They’re going to hall that big heavy thing away from place to place?

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