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Here Is A Beautiful Proposal For The Future Of The Silver Lake Reservoir

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The Silver Lake Reservoir was drained over the summer in order to build a new water pipeline underneath it (R.I.P. Shade Balls). Since then, the Reservoir (technically two reservoirs; the larger is the Silver Lake Reservoir, while a much smaller Ivanhoe Reservoir lies adjacent) was gradually emptied of its 400 million gallons of water, and is now the dismal site of a dry pit filled with construction trucks, surrounded by chain-link fences and janky concrete.It's all for a good cause; the reservoir, once a provider of drinking water, no longer meets federal standards. The old water is being treated, and will be re-used when it's put back into the city's drinking-water system. This new pipeline will bring water in from Headworks, another reservoir in Griffith Park. Water in L.A., man. It's complicated.

But what will happen to the reservoir once building the new pipeline is completed?

In an opinion piece for the L.A. Times, authors Robert Soderstrom, Luke Wood and Gustavo Herrera, members of the nonprofit community group Silver Lake Forward (of which Moby is a board member) presented mock-ups of proposed designs, and they look very, very pretty.

The group's fairly detailed proposal lists ideas for the reservoirs and their surrounding land. Here are some plans for the proposal's "Phase 1A":

  • adding bathrooms or upgrading existing facilities on the property to allow bathroom access
  • increasing shade
  • improving grading
  • implementing the original concept for the meadow, including mounds to organize the space; providing views, seating and enhanced vegetation for shade, or achieving these goals by opening more of the grounds to public access
  • take advantage of the reservoirs being drained to remove as much of the concrete lining of the reservoirs as is feasible
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The subsequent phases feature aspects like removing the fence, adding walkways, and "creating shoreline experiences," detailed in the article as potential "promenades, docks, walking trails, a beach and a nature center."
There's certainly a lot of room to work with, and it's a rare opportunity for a city that is "park poor" to reinvent a beloved and much-utilized public space. But so far, it doesn't seem like there's any one agency that has really taken the reigns in regards to the future of the reservoir.

In 2014, a group called Swim Silver Lake proposed the reservoir be transformed into a beach, called the Silver Lake Plunge. While it looks rad, it doesn't seem like there's much more to it in terms of planning beyond the 544-person signed petition.

Silver Lake Forward is holding an event on Saturday at the Silver Lake Recreation Center, where you are invited to "share your vision" for the reservoir's future. Maybe Moby will be there. Maybe the parents of some Camelot Kids:

"We're not civil engineers or city planners," the Times piece concludes. "We need the best minds from the city to think broadly about what is technically feasible."

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So who's up for it?