Sunday, April 3, 2011

Arroyo Seco - Los Angeles River Confluence Plaza Opens to the Public

There's a new place where you can play in the water in Los Angeles. It's located right near the Arroyo Seco-Los Angeles River Confluence in Cypress Park at the intersection of San Fernando Road and Figueroa Street.

Last Wednesday, about 100 governmental, civic, and environmental leaders attended the official dedication of the Confluence Plaza, the first phase of a planned Confluence Park where the history of Los Angeles really began: the natural intersection of the Arroyo Seco with the Los Angeles River, close to where Avenue 19 and southbound Interstate 5 now meet.

Confluence Plaza, a project of the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), was funded by California State Parks (Proposition 12), EEM Caltrans, and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (Proposition 84), to serve more than 1,000,000 Angelenos in the adjacent Northeast Los Angeles communities of Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, Mount Washington, Elysian Valley and Silver Lake as well as commuters heading to work in downtown Los Angeles.

The Dedication Ceremony was hosted by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Executive Director Joe Edmiston (seen on the left here), who spoke briefly about the work of SMMC and the MRCA is providing parks and open space within Los Angeles' dense urban neighborhoods.

He also introduced comments by a number of civic leaders, including Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes (seen below), who has championed the revitalization of the Los Angeles River for many years. Lewis MacAdams, Co-Founder of Friends of the Los Angeles River, read his latest poem with river imagery, 'To Lesley,' to the gathered crowd.

The Confluence Plaza is located on one of
Los Angeles' most historical sites: the Juan Baustista De Anza National Historic Trail, which marks the Anza expedition of 1776 which led to the founding of the settlement that would later become El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles.

The open air plaza was designed by Mia Lehrer + Associates and  features an interactive water feature designed by WET Designs, whose creations include water elements at the Los Angeles County Music Center, Universal CityWalk and the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

The plaza's water feature is designed to attract neighborhood children and residents while offering them the opportunity to learn more about Los Angeles history. Its location not far from the completed and proposed sections of the Los Angeles River Bicycle Path should make it a popular stopping point for cyclists, too.

Spearheading this innovative project was Barbara Romero, Chief of Urban Projects & Watershed Planning for MRCA, seen here center right with Los Angeles River Women Leaders, including CD 1 Environmental Deputy Jill Sourial, LA Chief Deputy City Engineer Deborah Weintraub, Project Architect Mia Lehrer, and Los Angeles City River Office Project Director Dr. Carol Armstrong.

Arroyo Lover's tips for visiting the Plaza, which is free and open to the public: Park in the south section of the Home Depot Parking Lot. The fountains are timed to 'splash' for 10 minutes every hour on the hour from 8 am to 8pm. And don't forget to be Riverly!

1 comment:

Please be civil, brief, and relevant. Thank you!