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Watch Amazing Vintage Footage of the LA River and Its Taming

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Los Angeles officials are right now fighting for the biggest and best possible LA River restoration, so it's a good time to take a look back at how our sad, paved little river ended up that way in the first place. This awesome video--from the exhibition Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990, late of the Getty, now at the National Building Museum in DC--lays it all out: the horrific floods of the early nineteenth century, the complicated engineering work of the late 1930s that encased the river in concrete, the construction of hundreds of bridges, the confused livestock. There's also a pretty amazing aerial shot tracking the entire length of the river down to Long Beach. (And if you need even more, we took a photo tour of the LA River's pre-concrete days--flood and trickle--this summer.) Watch it this way:


· 25 Photos of the Los Angeles River Before It Was Paved in 1938 [Curbed LA]
· LA River Archives [Curbed LA]