The Silver Lake Reservoir is done as a source of drinking water and today it sits empty as necessitated by construction of its replacement. As the city makes the federally mandated switch to covered or underground water storage facilities, the future of the Silver Lake and smaller Ivanhoe reservoirs lies ahead. (A beach and an esplanade have been proposed in the past.)
One local group, Silver Lake Forward, is hoping that the reservoirs, which take up about 96 acres, could be revamped as a public park. Renderings for the reimagined space, via Urbanize LA, show wide walkways and lots of seating, kind of like Echo Park Lake on steroids.
Silver Lake Forward is even considering "the possibility of linking the reservoirs to the LA River through existing pipes, creating a a storage facility for storm runoff and recycled water," says ULA.
The conversion to a park would happen in four stages. The first stage would focus on the Silver Lake Meadow. Partnering with the LADWP, the group would either add or upgrade the existing restrooms there, increase shade in the area, create mounds for seating, and, importantly, get to work removing all the concrete they can.
The next phase would open up the area by the Eucalyptus Grove, making it more accessible to the public by taking out or relocating the fencing in the area, and adding inviting elements like furniture and walkways. This phase would also include work on a plan to reduce public access to the area during the season in which the Great Blue Heron nests.
Both these first two phases are expected to take about three to six months to complete. The first phase could begin immediately.
The next phase is actually planned to begin immediately as well, but would last between six and 12 months (so it would be happening at the same time as the first two phases). This would include some big projects, like removing the "concrete embankments" at both Ivanhoe and Silver Lake reservoirs and working on enhancing the shoreline at both.
This third phase would also include a lot of research—looking into the potential impact of creating a "promenade" between the reservoirs, watching how people use the reservoir, and considering possible impacts on traffic and parking in the neighborhood. At this time, the Silver Lake Forward group would also be looking into creating a parks assessment district or another way to generate funding for the park. In the fourth and final phase, the findings of all these studies would be put into action.
- Silver Lake Forward [Official site]
- Grassroots Park Proposal Revealed for the Silver Lake Reservoir [ULA]
- Everything to Know About the Emptying of the Silver Lake Reservoir, Coming Soon [Curbed LA]
- A Plan To Turn The Silver Lake/Ivanhoe Dam Into An Esplanade [Curbed LA]
- Bonkers: There's A Plan To Turn The Silver Lake Reservoir Into A Hipster Beach [Curbed LA]