Los Angeles Celebrates Aqueduct Centennial with Interactive Garden

City Terrain, West
Friday, November 15, 2013
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THE LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT CENTENNIAL GARDEN IN GRIFFITH PARK WAS DEDICATED ON OCTOBER 23 (LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER)

THE LOS ANGELES AQUEDUCT CENTENNIAL GARDEN IN GRIFFITH PARK WAS DEDICATED ON OCTOBER 23 (LOS ANGELES DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND POWER)

The Los Angeles Aqueduct turned 100 on November 5, and the city has been partying hard. In a performance-art piece designed by Lauren Bon and Metabolic Studios, 100 mules plus their handlers walked along the 240 miles of the aqueduct from the Eastern Sierras to its terminus at The Cascades. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County staged a special exhibit to honor the centennial. And Department of Water and Power (LADWP) employees reenacted the opening of the Cascades’ spill gates, accompanied by descendants of Los Angeles Aqueduct Engineer William Mulholland.

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The Los Angeles Aqueduct Memorial That Washed Away

West
Thursday, November 7, 2013
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Los Angeles Aqueduct Memorial (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History)

Los Angeles Aqueduct Memorial (Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History)

Amidst all the excitement over the Los Angeles Aqueduct’s 100th anniversary, we should point out that not every engineering marvel related to William Mulholland’s masterpiece was completed.  As displayed in the recently-closed show, Never Built Los Angeles, co-curated by this author and Greg Goldin, city officials and architect George A. Howard had planned a 220-foot-tall memorial to the aqueduct, located in the center of Exposition Park’s Rose Garden. Consisting of a fluted, classical column with a fresco-clad base, the memorial would be topped by a statue of “Miss Los Angeles,” who would continuously pour water into a moat below. Genius. Unfortunately World War I put a stop to the plan, and a modest fountain and lily pond, built in 1921, now stand on the spot.

Back to the Future in Los Angeles: Giant Waterwheel to Irrigate State Park

Newsletter, West
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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(Courtesy Zev Yaroslavsky)

Courtesy Zev Yaroslavsky

Los Angeles is putting a new spin on an old technology, returning to one of the oldest forms of irrigation: the water wheel. Aqueducts have played a significant role in Los Angeles’ history, such as a waterwheel placed on the Zanja Madre—the Mother Ditch—in the 1860s that brought water from Rio Porciuncula to the Los Angeles River. As a dedication for the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, a new waterwheel designed by Metabolic Studio‘s Lauren Bon, will be installed near the same site by November 5th, 2013. Bon, an Annenberg heiress, artist, and philanthropist, gained notoriety for her Not a Cornfield installation that involved transforming 32 acres of brownfields into a fertile planting ground.

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