Dave Hodgins

Most great cities are oriented towards a river or a body of water, and originally Los Angeles was too. The Los Angeles River was the lifeblood of the city when it was first established. It provided a source of water and food for the indigenous Gabrielino Indians prior to the arrival of the Spanish, and to the settlers that eventually followed. Back then the river ran through the basin from what’s now Los Angeles all the way down to Long Beach, and through the other communities of today’s Los Angeles County. But its path was unpredictable and the river swung in a wide swath from Long Beach to Ballona Creek, which became a major problem as Los Angeles became more urbanized. Finally in the 1930s people began to call for measures to control the river, and the Army Corps of Engineers channelized it by completely encasing the river's bed and banks in concrete, leaving only a trickle of water flowing down its middle.

Keep Reading Show less
Trending Stories