The Times' architecture critic, Christopher Hawthorne, wrote Wednesday that the Los Angeles River is "the last great source of new green space in Los Angeles, a city notoriously short on parks."
Efforts are underway to transform the river -- some plans have price tags in the billions -- and proposals are underway from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about what to do with an 11-mile stretch of the river between Union Station and Griffith Park.
Hawthorne writes that the "plans could fundamentally change how the public looks at the river, which has been more of an eyesore than natural amenity since the federal government wrapped much of it in concrete as a flood-control measure beginning in the 1930s."
One of the options from the Army Corps is a $444-million push to remove the concrete and provide ecological restoration in several areas, such as Taylor Yard.
Another, which would cost $774 million, "would widen the river to accommodate terracing on much of its eastern bank (from roughly Los Feliz Boulevard downstream to Fletcher Drive) and redevelop the so-called Piggyback Yard, a site that is owned by Union Pacific Railroad and covers 125 acres across the river from Union Station," Hawthorne wrote.
Another plan, called Alternative 20, costs $1.06 billion and includes the previous changes as well as a proposal to "provide new connections to the L.A. State Historic Park near Chinatown, known as the Cornfield, and fund substantial ecosystem restoration where the river meets a tributary, the Verdugo Wash, near the border of L.A. and Glendale," he wrote.
And the leaders of the nonprofit L.A. River Revitalization Corp. also have a plan, Hawthorne writes, "to complete a continuous bike path and greenway along all 51 miles of the river, extending from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach, by 2020."
What do you think? How would you like to see the Los Angeles River and surrounding area transformed? What would you want to see included in these proposals? Tell us by commenting on this post -- or tweet us your thoughts @lanow.
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