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Team chosen to lead Silver Lake Reservoir master plan update

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The plan will guide the reservoir’s transformation from water storage to full-on community space

The Silver Lake reservoir was once used as water storage for the city. Now it’s now transitioning to a new role as a community gathering space.
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Landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Associates has been chosen to guide the future of the Silver Lake Reservoir. The team, one of three finalists for the job, was approved Friday by the board of public works.

A spokesperson for the engineering bureau says the department should receive the last needed approval—from Mayor Eric Garcetti—by the end of the week and kick off the outreach process shortly after.

Though the Silver Lake Reservoir was once used as a water source and water storage for the city, it’s now transitioning to a new role as a community space and asset. Updating the master plan—a process which is being led by the bureau—will steer future improvements and reuse of the reservoir site.

“Key to their success is their expertise in community engagement, which will be an important aspect of the planning process,” City Engineer Gary Lee Moore said in December, when Hargreaves was recommended for the job by the Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering.

Hargreaves faces the daunting task of attempting to balance the past and present of the reservoir with its possible future.

The firm will need to take into account the needs and desires of the surrounding neighborhood as well as the reservoir’s “historic character, its use as a community gathering place, its strategic location within the Silver Lake community, its visual impact, its long-term environmental value, and its potential for a unique blend of passive and recreational opportunities,” the bureau said.

The last time a master plan was adopted for Silver Lake and the adjoining Ivanhoe Reservoir was in 2000, when the reservoirs were still a part of LA’s water supply network. That plan steered the installation of walking trails around the complex and the opening of the Silver Lake Meadow in 2011.

Hargreaves Associates has another high-profile project underway in the city—the park that will eventually open beneath the new Sixth Street bridge.