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Waterfall Set To Reopen At Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial

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On January 10, 1847, American forces defeated the Mexicans and took the pueblo of Los Angeles. Two days later, on January 12, the American troops built a fort, on what was then known as Fort Hill, to secure the area from future attacks. The hill would later be renamed Fort Moore after a captain killed during the Mexican-American War. The site would undergo several repurposes (cemetery, high school), before the City of Los Angeles opened a memorial on the site in 1957.

“It’s the most historically and geographically important monument that nobody knows about,” Clare Haggarty, manager of L.A. County’s art collections, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s where Los Angeles really began, and it’s huge, and so many people don’t know it exists.”

The monument (a 400-foot wide brick and tile wall) originally included a 47-foot waterfall. However, in 1977, during the drought conditions, the waterfall was turned off (sound familiar?). Since then, the waterfall has never been turned back on.

According to KCET:

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Over the years, many local historical activists have called on the city to turn the waterfall back on, or at least fly a flag on the flag pole. It's rather sad, in this town so proud of its movie history, that the history of "lesser mortals" is often forgotten or flat out dismissed. Fort Moore Hill, once a crucial fortification, became a burden, and when it disappeared, so did its relevance to this forward-looking metropolis.

But in 2014, as the Civic Center neighborhood began seeing revitalization, calls to restore the Fort Moore Hill monument resurfaced, notes the Times.

“There’s so much happening with Grand Park and the Hall of Justice reopening, it was time,” Haggarty added.

Scaffolding will go up on the monument in the coming weeks, and the waterfall should be back on soon thereafter. No date for the reopening has been set, yet.

But David Palma, capital projects manager with the county Department of Public Works, is aware that Los Angeles's proclivity for droughts hasn't changed much since 1977. Palma noted that restoration of the waterfall will honor both historical accuracy and water conservation.