The “Enhance Silver Lake as Park” project

Below, see text of a petition which was supported by 345 interested persons after launching it in 2014.

Since the lake was refilled with the benefit of an excess of water from the wet winter of 2016, we now have the opportunity to urge DWP to operate this system at the spillway level between Ivanhoe and Silver lake itself, about elevation 451 or so. The dam is designed for 453. That would be ideal.

Dion Neutra has espoused a plan to recognize the presence in our community of what has recently been designated as the only National Historic Landmark in our area; the Richard and Dion Neutra, VDL House at 2300 Silverlake Blvd. facing the current meadow.

His plan would call for clearing away impediments that mar and obscure the view to and from this monument, to get back as closely as possible to its water orientation, which was what attracted pioneer Richard Neutra to choose this site in the early '30s on which to build his live-work example of International Style.

This would clear away trees which were allowed to grow in the view field, as well as at least one of the signal poles which currently signal a crosswalk in the area.

Dion's proposals for how to reconstitute this area, and reconfigure the meadow to allow a water connection yet again, while increasing the amount of lawn area on which to recreate, is a genial suggestion which should be incorporated into any Master Plan being developed for the whole lake area as park.

His suggestions for a series of 'Board Walks' to embellish the unsightly banks, and create options for enjoying walking around the lake are likewise much more reasonable and feasible than abstract plans to rework the banks to make them 'more natural'. Any such plans would reduce viewable water areas, and are going in the wrong direction, aside from probably having to drain the lake yet again, with related waste of valuable water!

We support these refinements, and are pleased to join earlier signors who indicated their support. Let's hit that 1000 goal!

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The proposal to drain Silver Lake to save Millions offers a unique opportunity!  As a citizen of the world, I'm in favor of slowing things down, before or during refilling, to improve sustainability and visual appeal of this vital water body by separating this water volume into two parts, separated by a floating membrane!. The upper body would be about 8-10' deep designed to operate constantly at elev 453  (the max allowed by the dam design). This will help ensure that with less water required for the recreational lake portion over time, the chances are improved to find enough water to keep things topped up in drought years. Currently commissioned studies should include issues of how to assure adequate off-site water for both of these volumes during droughts, as well as always.

Since, as it turns out, it's impractical to raise the ultimate water levels higher, we'd favor a study to create a suspended 'Board Walk' walkway on the sloping embankment, to allow closer contact with the water while walking about, as well as improving the views by visually splitting the raw expanse of current embankments. Consider handrails augmented with plant pockets to further break up those high banks.

 Please make this a high priority so DWP can factor results in!  

It looks as if this will be the closest we can come to emulating Echo Park, which has other operating conditions. It is only about 8' deep, whereas Silver Lake to start with is over 30'!

In addition to the above, I've seen Dion Neutra's 1970 proposal for how to develop the Meadow Area to become a suitable foreground feature for City Monument #640, as well as putting LA on the map as the first city to commemorate the start of the green movement with an urban garden! I think Silver Lake, with its history of forward looking architectural design is the perfect location. What with the advent of a new park, a replanning of this area, along with the rest of the 600 acres, this would be entire appropriate and a great way to honor the only City Monument in the area!

Reinforcing the above, has been the DWP policy in recent months; years, by now, to operate this lake at lower and lower water levels, to where recently it's been a full 15-20' below what would be our 453 'optimum operating level'. Is it a vain hope to get them to (spend the half million) to add water again to get anywhere close to levels contemplated by the dam design and Board Walk proposals! (realistically, what with the plan to dump all this water anyway in two years; probably not).

The proposal to drain Silver Lake to save Millions offers a unique opportunity!  As a citizen of the world, I’m in favor of slowing things down, before refilling, to  improve sustainability of this vital water body by trucking in extra dirt to raise the floor of the lake up 10-20’ (or at least start this process). This will help ensure that with less water required, the chances are improved to find enough water to keep things topped up in draught years. Currently commissioned studies should include issues of how to assure adequate off-site water during droughts.

 

Since, as it turns out, it's impractical to raise the ultimate water levels very much, I'd favor a study to create a suspended 'Board Walk' walkway on the sloping embankment, to allow closer contact with the water while walking about, as well as improving the views by visually splitting the raw expanse of current embankments. Consider handrails augmented with plant pockets to further break up those high banks.

 


 Please make this a high priority so DWP can factor results in!  

 

It looks as if this will be the closest we can come to emulating Echo Park, which has other operating conditions. It is only about 8' deep, whereas Silver Lake to start with is over 30'!

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