Tag Archive for: Elysian Park

Echo Park resident Art Meza spotted a bear in a tree on Park Drive along Elysian Park earlier this week. Neighbors say it’s been around for a while.


Occasionally we do get our computer-addicted brains off the couch and outdoors (where it’s hopefully not as hot as our air condition-less home), and stretch those legs on the adjacent Elysian Park trails. Along the paved roadway of Elysian Park Drive (the lower road after crossing Morton) are the crudely formed piles of dirt – perhaps having been left behind by Park Maintenance.

By the looks of the tracks over these tightly compacted mounds, it’s like a playground for people on foot, dogs of all sizes, and a few bicycles. Although technically mountain biking isn’t allowed in Elysian Park’s walking trails, we keep thinking it would be like playing a game of Excitebike (80s children, you know what I’m talkin’ about?). Except in this game, you’re probably face-planting and not having as much fun.

Still, wouldn’t it be a blast taking a little BMX at full speed over some hills? It’s not considered mountain biking, right?

Twitter photo via Whitney Holtzman (@WHoltzman)

Last night, Dodger Stadium honored 84-year-old Dodger Stadium announcer Vin Scully with his very own bobblehead. Current GEPENC president and CD13 candidate Jose Sigala also wants to honor the legend – he is petitioning for the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Elysian Park Avenue be officially named “Vin Scully Square.”

The corner is just a stone’s throw from the Elysian Park gate into the Stadium, and where you’ll find some of the heaviest traffic after a big game. It

Click here to sign Sigala’s online petition.

Scully also ust recently announced he will return next year for his 64th season in 2013!

Leftover gun parts at La Fonderie in Echo Park hat were used for the 2011 Peace Angels Project award

The fourth annual Gun Buyback Program takes place today at six locations across Los Angeles. Held the day before Mother’s Day each year, the program promises “no questions asked” for turning in guns in exchange for a gift card. Assault weapons are credited $200 worth of Visa or Ralphs gift cards; shotguns, rifles and handguns receive $100.

In past years, local art studio La Fonderie in Echo Park has participated in the program (along with other at-risk youth programs), helping kids melt down the guns from the buy-back program into a sculpture for the 2011 Peace Angels Project award.

The nearest drop-off location in Echo Park is at the LAFD Training Academy located at 1700 Stadium Way. The drop-off is happening today until 3:00 pm. Click here for a list of other locations.

You wouldn’t know by just looking at them, but the 100+ year old palm trees, a rare species of wild date, that make up “The Avenue of the Palms” on Stadium Way are dying.

Planted in 1895, the palms are now dying from a “combination of disease spread by using uncleaned chainsaws,” as well as old age.

The Citizen’s Committee to Save Elysian Park is addressing the issue, and will be discussing replanting the trees during their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.

Avenue of the Palms, 1950. Photo from the LAPL archives.

Flickr photo via Non Paratus

Hard to believe it’s Christmas time again, and the only thing that really makes us feel like it’s the holiday season are the neighborhood Holiday decorations!

The Eastsider LA reminds us that Elysian Park staff members are ready for yet another season, and are organizing volunteers to help put together the traditional tumbleweed snowmen/women for the park’s entrance on Stadium Way. We almost didn’t have the decorations last year when city budget cuts left Elysian Park without the money for staff and decorations. But volunteers stepped in and the snowmen were up!

While we do miss the snowman that frequented the corner of Scott Avenue and Stadium Way, but we know it takes a lot off effort – volunteers help to trim and put together the whole outfit made from recycled materials for each one.

If you’re interested in volunteering, snowman assembling is on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 10:00 am at the park maintenance yard (Academy Road and Solano Canyon Drive). Email hello@TheEastsiderLA.com for schedule changes.

On August 25, the LAFD Fire Hogs departed from the Los Angeles World Trade Center Memorial in Elysian Park, joining other LA Firefighters on the road to the World Trade Center in New York to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The LAFD Fire Hogs are a group of “retired and active-duty firefighters.” They’ll be traveling by motorcycle the whole way.

Here in Los Angeles, the nearby Los Angeles World Trade Center Memorial will be the site of a memorial service “commemorating our collective loss and affirming our personal resolve.” September is also National Preparedness Month.

“This year will mark the 10-year anniversary of 9/11,” Erik Scott of the LAFD told Our Weekly, “and the Los Angeles Fire Department asks you to take time to remember those lost as well as time to make sure you are prepared for future emergencies.”

The memorial shown in the picture to the left is a 23 ton, 22 foot tall steel column that originally was part of the World Trade Center lobby, and believed to be the largest remnant on the West coast.

The free and public event is on Sunday, September 11, 2011 from 9:00 am – 10:00 am, with a reception immediately following.

The Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Center is located at 1700 Stadium Way.

Flickr photo via Non Paratus

This year was almost the first time since the project started a few years ago that the Elysian Park snowmen would not decorate the park’s entrances. But thanks to a few ambitious volunteers, the park might just have these happy recycled tumbleweed decorations after all!

The problem with installing the snowmen was due to, you guessed it, cutbacks. Put together by the Recreation and Parks staff, they face a 15% budget cut leaving them no time to put together the holiday decorations.

Last year we noticed the financial cut backs when the corner of Scott and Stadium Way (on our way home) went without its usual snowmen. Hopefully the volunteers will help bring a little cheer back to that corner as well!

Volunteers are meeting on Friday, December 10 at 10:00 am at the Elysian Park maintenance yard (between the Police Academy and Solano Canyon). They have already started collecting tumbleweeds and will teach volunteers how to make them. Just bring gloves and clippers, and wear long sleeves!

Maybe if you learn how to make these you’ll be able to have some inexpensive and recycled decorations for your own yard!

Early Barlow Hospital, unknown date

With all the hoopla surrounding Barlow Hospital these days, we thought we’d cover some of its 100-year-old history.

Barlow Hospital was founded in 1902 by Walter Jarvis Barlow. Born in Ossining, New York, Walter traveled to Los Angeles in 1897 seeking a dry, sunny climate after contracting tuberculosis. Though his was caught early and thus cured, tuberculosis was a serious disease treated with rest, fresh air, sunshine and general well-being. So Los Angeles became not only a perfect place for him to recover, but became the home of the area’s first tuberculosis treatment facility: Barlow Sanatorium.

Source: Barlow Genealogy

Set on the border of Elysian Park (which is the city’s oldest park, founded in 1886) were the 25 acres he purchased from J.B. Lankershim for $7,300. A $1,300 donation actual came from Alfred Solano, his namesake being, of course, nearby Solano Canyon. Walter was actually Solano’s step-son-in-law (Walter’s wife Marion’s mother was remarried to Alfred). Jarvis Street in Solano Canyon is likely named after Walter.

Anyways, enough about Walter. He created the Sanatorium to care for those people with turberculosis, a place for them to relax and get well. The site chosen for the hospital was a good one – a small valley protected the climate and provided clean air away from the bustling city nearby. Ironically, the Barlow Hospital website describes the location as wise because it was a “protective barrier against development.”

Most of the structures on the site (32 in all) were built between 1902 and 1952, and have been recognized as Cultural Monument No. 504. In addition to administrative and medical offices, there are quite a few patient bungalows with porches, dining rooms, laundry facilities, and recreation areas. If you’re walking South on Stadium Way from Scott Avenue, you can see these residential-looking structures on the right-hand side. You’ll also probably notice how dilapidated they are. Over the first few years, the hospital had enough room to house and care for 34 patients.

By the end of the 1970s, the focus on turbuculosis was no longer needed as TB became manageable and treatable, and instead concentrated on the treatment of respiratory diseases. By the 1980s, the hospital wanted to provide for AIDS patients by fixing up some of buildings that weren’t being used. Interestingly, the efforts came out of an organization that fought against a 1986 proposition that would have required a quarantine of AIDS carriers.

In 1988, the Chris Brownlie AIDS Hospice was opened at Barlow as the first AIDS hospice in California, and remained open until the mid-1990s. The two-story building where the hospice was had been home to around 1,500 patients.

The hospital has maintained its original philanthropic mission and continues to be a not-for-profit facility. It serves Southern California as a long-term acute care facility, focusing on rehabilitation goals such as weaning patients off of ventilators, and even home to the Barlow Respiratory Research Center. Currently, the hospital is seeking to sell of a huge portion of the land to fund the development of a new hospital, which it needs to do in order to comply with post-Northridge earthquake retrofitting requirements.

The future of the historic Barlow structures are uncertain, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as they happen.

Palm fronds litter the park along Stadium Way after a day of windy weather. The wind also took down part of a tree near where a lot of park visitors play soccer.

Back in May, we mentioned an Eastsider LA article on a set of random sculptures in parts of Elysian Park that had been taken down by Rec and Parks because of the lack of permits. As it turns out, the “random” totem poles and other sculptures covered in colorful paint, stuffed animals, and toys are actually the work of Venice Beach resident Ryan Wade.

“I welcome mails from people who had a chance to experience the sculptures in the park and I welcome any info about or from the committees that are active in organizing the parks activities,” said Ryan. “I hope these pieces were an inspiration to the viewers and I hope to see more artists taking their work into the public arena.”

Ryan rescued those items removed by Rec and Parks, and are now on display at the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (L.A.C.E.) right now through December as part of an exhibit put on by the Elysian Park Museum of Art (EPMoA).

The EPMoA basically an experiment in the creative use of public space using temporary installations/exhibits and mostly performance art pieces (and following park rules, of course):

A constantly evolving association of artists and curators involved with EPMoA have created site-specific performances, installations, and actions that consider the fractured geography of the park — its unmapped trails, picnic areas, a stadium, a police academy, highway onramps, radio towers, squatter communities, and parking lots — with the goal of creating a cohesive investigation into the contemporary function of a museum, a park, and public spaces in general.

FYI, though Ryan’s art installations in Elysian Park last Spring (the original installations were not part of EPMoA or L.A.C.E.) was technically illegal/lacked necessary permits, these types of public art aren’t unusual in Los Angeles – there are tons of art initiatives that change the way we think about public spaces that we see and experience every day. Recently, there was some pretty cool “yarn bombing” in Highland Park, Ciclavia took over our public streets, a giant Fork in the Road in Pasadena last year, and tons of other art around Southern California. Sometimes we just have to go on those unmarked trails in Elysian Park to find them!

Check out Ryan Wade’s art and sculptures along with other installations at L.A.C.E., located at 6522 Hollywood Boulevard
Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday 12 noon – 6:00 pm, and Thursdays 12 noon – 9:00 pm
Suggested donation $3, Members free.

A part of the trail in Elysian Park is closed down for the time being while crews work on a leaking six inch irrigation line. The trail to avoid is the fire road below Park Drive at Academy Road (entrance is also next to Elysian Park Drive); expect the road to remain closed through October 8.

Please call (213) 485-3287 with any questions.

Flicker photo by A.C.Thamer

The Department of Recreation and Parks needs your help! Some of our favorite spots in Elysian Park need a little TLC, including the Butterfly Garden, Childrens Arboretum, and the Marion Harlow Grove.

Rec and Parks are specifically asking for help cleaning the weeds and trimming the plants at the Butterfly Garden in Upper Angels Point (by the Peter Shire sculpture) in Elysian Park.

You will have to fill out a Volunteer Application, be fingerprinted for safety and liability reasons, and report to the Rec and Parks staff when you work in the garden. For more information, please call Mark Jackson, Park Maintenance Supervisor, at (213) 485-3287

A passion vine flower blooms in Echo Park

The next time you take a walk, hike, or picnic in Elysian Park, take a look around at all the different types of trees and flowers (both native and non-native) that decorate the landscape around the park. Next time you go, you might know a few of the names!

Echo Park resident Michael O’Brien, a horticulture expert who frequently updates us on blooming trees and flowers in the neighborhood, recently wrote on the Echo Elysian Neighborhood Council forum about a website he contributes to documenting plantlife in Elysian Park.

“The botanical survey is ongoing,” he writes, “and far from complete, but you can look up the 159 species currently identified on CalPhotos. (Just enter “Elysian” in the search box.) There you will find photos of all the species.”

The purpose of his post on the forum, however, was also a warning about the future of about two dozen native species in Elysian Park. The Los Angeles Planning Committee recently voted in favor of developers to build a 120-unit condo complex on what is known as the “Menlo Property” in Silver Lake on Riverside Drive (near the Fletcher intersection). Many residents (in Silver Lake, Echo Park, and beyond) are concerned that the condo complex will basically block an important thoroughfare for both animals and plants from the Los Angeles river to the Echo Park/Elysian Park area.

“The Menlo project on Riverside Drive has closed off any possibility of gene flow to the Park from the Santa Monica Mountains, so there are approximately 2 dozen native species in the park that will go extinct in our lifetime,” O’Brien explains. Read his full post on the forum here.

If you’re interested in the Menlo Property history, politics, and future, I suggest reading through Diane Edwardson’s blog called Corralitas Red Car Property by clicking here.

Photo via gmazariego on TwitPic (Elysian Park gate)

Protesters gathered yesterday around Dodger Stadium protesting the Arizona’s immigration law during the first of three Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks series (LA Now reports there ended up being a few hundred). The Diamondbacks are being focused on because owner Ken Kendrick has been supposedly tied to the Republican party in Arizona, which spearheaded the current immigration law. Click here for a call-to-action posted on the KPFK website for yesterday’s protest.

The Dodgers play the Diamondbacks again tonight at 7:10 pm.