Silver Lake finds out what it’s like on the other side of the reservoir fence

The public was allowed to venture beyond the South Dam path and stroll around the rest of the Silver Lake Reservoir | Sandy Driscoll

— The opening of a new walking path across the South Dam of the Silver Lake Reservoir attracted a large crowd Saturday morning that took in the views and explored the reservoir grounds that are normally closed to the public.

After opening remarks by elected leaders — including Congressman Adam Schiff, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell — and other officials, a stream of people and dogs made their way along the top of the dam between Silver Lake Boulevard and West Silver Lake Drive. Visitors were then allowed to roam around the Silver Lake and adjacent Ivanhoe Reservoir.

It was the first time many had been on the other side of the tall chain link fence that encircles the two reservoirs.

“Not only did we get to see the water sans a chain link fence, but beautiful old trees, a former DWP caretaker’s cottage, and courtesy of the shade, some nice reflections on the water,” said Sandy Driscoll of Silver Lake.

The South Dam pathway will remain open every day from 6:30 am to between 5 PM to 7:30 PM depending on the time of the year.Dogs are allowed on leash but bikes are prohibited.

The rest of the reservoir property will remain off limits to the public as studies are conducted to determine future recreational and other uses for the landmark bodies of water.

Here are some photos of Saturday’s South Dam path grand opening:

A throng of visitor stretch along the length of the South Dam on opening day | Sandy Driscoll

Going down to the water | Sandy Driscoll

A post shared by juliepeasley (@juliepeasley) on

Strolling along the east bank of the Silver Lake Reservoir | Sandy Driscoll

A post shared by Hannu Aukia (@haukia) on

Reflections of visitors on the dam between the Ivanhoe and Silver Lake reservoirs | Sandy Driscoll

A close up view of the gnarled old trees in front of the cottage that once served as home to the reservoir caretaker. Sandy Driscoll

What’s all the fuss? One of the ducks floating across the reservoir on the South Dam opening day | Sandy Driscoll

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  1. Please, make the entire reservoir a park. Look at the turn out and enthusiasm for this event and the area is hardly hospitable as is. This has the potential to be the nicest park in Los Angeles. It’s not fair that a few surrounding neighbors prevent the entire community from having such an accessible and beneficial amenity. Every neighborhood should be anchored by a community open space, This can be Silver Lakes.

  2. Nice shots, Sandy!

  3. As a practical note, I wonder how they get everyone out before it closes after Sunset.

  4. Never thought I’d see the day… now if they could just get the DOT to put in a few more traffic signals and crosswalks along Silver Lake Blvd. so it’s not such a drag race 24/7.

    • As opposed to the crosswalks and traffic signals that already exist?

      • It’s 3.5 miles long, but you’re probably right.. two signals is plenty!

        It’s actually kinda fun sprinting across the street with 2 kids as cars come flying around the bend at Duane, or sometimes when we’re feeling a little sluggish we’ll walk a half mile up to Deane and wait for cars to yield at the crosswalk that acts like more of a “suggested crossing”

      • Yeah, what part of “a few more” wasn’t clear in my comment? I don’t see the rationale behind encouraging motorists to drive at highway speeds through a recreation area packed to the gills with kids, dogs, joggers, etc. If calming traffic to neighborhood speeds *through neighborhoods* adds 30 seconds to your commute here and there, boohoo! LA commuters are such insufferable babies. You live in a global city with nearly limitless economic opportunities and cultural amenities… traffic congestion is to be expected. The fleas come with the dog!

  5. Sure, maybe he just happened to be in town, but doesn’t Adam Schiff have (ahem) much bigger things to be tending to?

  6. Dear DWP.
    You own the water and land the city is for all of US not just the NIMBY’s.
    So Take down that prison fence and make the entire lake a park for all of us to enjoy a nature Preserve.
    Enough studies 99% of the hood wants this to happen. So please lets make this happen Echo Park Lake is Joy
    Silver lake is a prison fence to be looked down on from the hills around.

    Thank you.

  7. What lovely pictures! I walked the Reservoir perimeter that fabulous Saturday, and Sandy’s pictures will be saved as wonderful reminders!
    She captures both the very big beauty (the mountains & sky) and the very small beauty (the ducks!) of Silver Lake Reservoir for us all!
    Thank you Sandy, and thank the Eastsider for bringing them to us! I hope to see more of them in the future!

  8. I’d just like to point something out: When anyone calls others NIMBYs, this means they themselves are NIMBYs. Because people who are not NIMBYs don’t call others that. Just FYI, to those of you who love calling others this.
    (Also, look at your hand when you point at someone and call them a name… three of your own fingers are pointing back at yourself…)

  9. I walked around the perimeter of the Silver Lake Reservoir (didn’t have time to circle the Ivanhoe Reservoir) and uploaded a street view to Mapillary (an open source alternative to the Google corporation). Sadly, there’s a bit of blurry finger in the top corner for stretches — and unfortunately, I had to use my tricorder rather than a 360 camera — but some of you might still enjoy!


  10. i’ll be back in 20 yrs. when when it slingshots back to sanity there. lol. peace.

  11. Just open up the park to vagrants and taggers. Lovely.

  12. Love the new south dam walkway. really beautiful view over the water. The Silver Lake Reservoir complex already has a rec center, 2 dog parks, playground, basketball courts, and the entire meadow area. I think it’s disingenuous for people to make the area out as having no public access areas. The decision about future development needs to be inclusive and deliberate. This area is much more residential and with smaller streets than echo park lake.

  13. This would have been awesome 15 years ago.

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