First Look: Silver Lake Reservoir Master Plan Adopted in L.A.

The Los Angeles City Council approved environmental review documents for the long-awaited Silver Lake Reservoir Master Plan, clearing the way to remake a defunct reservoir into active green and park space.

2 minute read

September 8, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Silver Lake Reservoir and surrounding neighborhoods in Los Angeles, as seen from high above

The Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoirs in context in the city of Los Angeles. Interstate 5 and the terminus of State Route 2 are also visible in the photo. | Cavan / Adobe Stock

The long process of planning and designing a new future for the Silver Lake Reservoir in Los Angeles, a political drama a decade-and-half in the making, has reached a major culmination.

“The Los Angeles City Council has voted to adopt the findings of a final environmental impact report for the Silver Lake Reservoir master plan, which would convert roughly 116 acres of the 127-acre Silver Lake and Ivanhoe reservoir complex into park space,” reports Steven Sharp for Urbanize Los Angeles.  

A 2.5-mile landscaped promenade weaves through seven different design components, including an expansion of the existing “Silver Lake Meadow” park space, and other features, such “the Knoll,” the “Eucalyptus Grove,” and more.

The Silver Lake Reservoir, as seen from the concrete shore line.
Silver Lake Reservoir, as seen from ground level in the surrounding neighborhood. (Image by pikappa51 via Adobe Stock)

Previous plans to allow “direct access to the water through floating docks and opportunities for kayaking have been removed,” explains Sharp. “Instead, the only access to the water will be provided through paths and observational terraces built within wetland area.”

The reservoir was built under the leadership of William Mulholland and completed in 1908. Sharp also provided news coverage of the master plan’s draft environmental impact report when released in October 2022.

The plan still requires funding, however. The city hopes to compete for federal and state grants for the project, potentially completing construction in phases, depending on available funding.

The source article, linked below, includes a full collection of conceptual renderings included with the adopted master plan.

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