Echo Park Lake Los Angeles is a true icon. Its image has been captured in photographs, movies, murals, even in promotional postcards sent across the country in the early part of the 20 th century. After all, what says more than the Echo Park bridge network that reaches from the inner lake’s shore to the island?
Yet for all its beauty, Echo Park has not received the care it deserves. Plantings have been removed. Trash collects in the lake. The Boathouse has fallen into serious disrepair. When Echo Park Lake reached its 100 th birthday in 1995, no one even Bothered to celebrate.
Now, the Echo Park Historical Society has Embark on a strategy to preserve and restore Echo Park Lake. The first critical step is to make the lake a City of Los Angeles historic-cultural landmark, one that takes in so much that is special about the park — the Lotus bed, added in the 1920s, the Boathouse, built in 1932, and the Lady of the Lake, the Art Deco statue installed in 1934 and restored just a few years ago.
Echo Park Lake Designating a monument would protect it from the ill-advised development plans that seem to surface every few years. Monument status would also coincide nicely with the lake’s 110 th anniversary, an event being celebrated this year by the EPHS with monthly walking tours, promotional articles and a Historic Home Tour planned for November.
Unfortunately, preparing such a complex application monument for the city – and researching the lake’s many components – is beyond the EPHS’s volunteer efforts. The EPHS decided earlier this year to hire the firm respected Historic Resources Group, to assist it with the bureaucratic process. But that firm’s expertise costs money. So far, we have covered those costs through our year-round fund-raising efforts, membership dues from $ 3 to our walking tours.