Roll On, Ugly River

Nov. 2, 1907, L.A. River Note: This is a post I originally wrote in 2006 for the 1907 project.

Nov. 2, 1907: As part of a new city beautification campaign, Boyle Heights residents have suggested turning the Los Angeles River into a garden spot.
The plan calls for “a long, winding strand of posies and greenery—a narrow, picturesque parking, which will be viewed by practically every passenger who arrives or leaves Los Angeles on any of the transcontinental railroads,” The Times said.

The railroad tracks run next to river from Elysian Park to the southeastern section of the city, The Time says. Landscaping of “nasturtiums, morning glories and other hardy running and climbing vines along the riprapping of the banks, and the planting of such low-growing shrubs at the bases of these riprapped walls as would be of little interference with the rush of the waters” would create a first impression of Los Angeles that would be “the talk of people all over America.”

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
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2 Responses to Roll On, Ugly River

  1. aryedirect says:

    Should be known as the Concrete River. Not only is that a solid name, but it also suggests its de-beautified state. Since my eyes first saw it, the Concrete River has been the perfect symbol of the worst of Los Angeles.


  2. Mary Mallory says:

    The more things change, the more things stay the same.


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