A few weeks back we heard on Twitter that Echo Park Lake was being filled up–but was it? We were incredibly curious and had been wanting to find time to investigate for weekends. Is the Lake on the cusp of being opened to the public? Is it far from being completed? Does it look pristine and new and great? We took a walk around the lake yesterday for quite a long time and took notes and lots of photos. Let’s take a look at how Echo Park Lake is looking…
First, the Lake is in fact being filled up. Great! Is it near completion? Hell no. There are three or four literal hoses just casually spewing water into one end of the lake. According to the signs on the perimeter of the area, this restoration won’t be done until Spring of 2013–and it looks like there is a shit ton more work they have to do. The lake and its remodel is divided into a few parts: it’s more than just emptying and refilling a lake. There is now the main “lake,” a few cemented shallow areas where lotus beds and other attractions are going to be placed in, and a shallow pond-like area on the North end (the area where the bridge is). The entire are surrounding the lake is in a state of disrepair with clumps of dirt everywhere, tractors, old playgrounds, and more just lying around. It feels much like the emphasis is on the lake itself–and everything else around it is forgotten. We’re assuming the amenities accompanying the park will get updated, too?
An example of this: the pathway surrounding the lake. Have fun walking around that! There was a big trail of Christmas wrapping paper and trash discarded all of the sidewalk and cracked walkways that are in the thick of a battle with tree roots. Not that the area is a bad walk (It’s totally nice and safe.) but it looks like a war zone, like the mess of construction has seeped out of the fence and onto the surrounding area. Speaking of, that fence: oy. An eyesore that is absolutely falling apart and, my, it is not hiding the mess of construction. There are also so many buildings and other strange, seemingly abandoned items inside of the fence that we’re curious about. Hopefully the end result sees some of them put to use in clever ways, a la adding something like the LA equivalent of Shake Shack or a porch of some sort.
The project is a part of Prop O and is going to do a lot of good. The best part of this project is that they are restoring much of the lake to how it was originally. The Lotus area, the restoration of the Lady of the Lake, some wetlands, and more are all in effort of making the lake look like it once was. The city (or Prop O) does a good job of sharing what they are doing by way of signs detailing the project…but, the signs are hard to read, hidden behind the aforementioned fence, and a mashing of great design (“great design”).
We recommend you take a walk around the lake to see what is going on–but be warned that it has a long way to go. From the lake itself to the area surrounding it immediately, we’re looking at super late Spring 2013 if this Spring at all. We don’t know if the area surrounding the lake is going to get any love (the sidewalks, the stairs, the streets, the weird pool across the street, etc.) but we are hoping they do. Everyone cross your fingers: Echo Park Lake is going to be great. It kind of sucks now, though.
What are you guys hoping to see from the lake? Have you visited it recently? Tell us what you think! And check out more on the Lake’s progress on here.