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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the LA River

  • SPF:a Gallery 8609 Washington Boulevard Culver City, CA, 90232 United States (map)
Taylor Yard Ped Bridge x LA RIver X SPFa 3.jpg

In 1938, Los Angeles was besieged by two storm systems delivering record-breaking rainfalls. The Los Angeles River had become completely warped, shifting by as much as a mile in some areas. 115 people lost their lives and roughly one-third of the city was flooded.

The catastrophe prompted the total channelization of 51 miles of the river, turning the once wild waterway into a flood control conduit. This fortification would for decades impact the city both economically and culturally, reinforcing divisions between communities already cordoned by infrastructure and industry. Any evidence of vegetation was, too, completely desecrated or packed beneath 3.5 million barrels of cement.

But a new era is here: The City of Los Angeles is ushering in a sweeping master plan to bring the bleak landscape back to a more natural state able to support wildlife and sustainable neighborhoods. The redevelopment effort will include new housing and parks, the revitalization of old buildings, and the construction of several bridges to nullify the river’s divisive role.

Join Antonio Pacheco (West Editor, The Architect's Newspaper) in this panel discussing the measures involved in reinvigorating the previously neglected swath, and the implications these actions could have—namely, can LA avoid the "High Line Effect”?

Featured panelists include:


  • 6pm: Welcome drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and studio tours
  • 7-8:30pm: Panel discussion
  • 8:30-9:30pm: More drinks

Admission is FREE, but RSVP is required. Space is limited.

This event is being hosted by SPF:architects in partnership with the 2018 LA Design Festival, and is part of a series of Culver City studio tours on Friday, June 8 from 6pm to 9pm. Other participating studios include:

Questions? Email

Photo courtesy of SPF:architects

Earlier Event: June 8
Skinesque K-beauty Workshop at dRA
Later Event: June 8
A+R x Lee Broom