Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation Receives $1 Million Grant Kicking off First Phase of Work for Gehry Partners on the LA River

The matching grant, awarded by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, will allow Frank Gehry and his team of experts to begin their initial study of the LA River

Yesterday, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) voted unanimously in support of the LA River Revitalization Corporation’s (LA River Corp) application for a $1 million matching grant to help fund the work of Gehry Partners and its team of experts that includes OLIN Landscape Architects, Geosyntec and many others to develop an integrated design and technical analysis of the Los Angeles River. The grant originated from the Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Costal Protection Bond Act of 2006, which exists to support projects like Gehry’s for the LA River.

With this boon from the SMMC, the LA River Corp can now proceed on its plans to work with Gehry Partners on developing a data-driven analysis of the river and formulating a set of recommendations for a range of river interventions and capital improvements based on design storm impacts and process methodology. The study will ultimately help establish the unique identity and multi-use benefits for the entire 51-mile length of the LA River, while also maintaining its essential function as a flood control channel.

The support provided through the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy grant helps the LA River Corporation get started on the 51-mile river analysis and integrated design study. The activities and deliverables related to the Upper LA River, taking shape through this grant, represents one-third of the larger project budget.

“The LA River got a great vote of confidence from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy,” said Omar Brownson, Executive Director at LA River Revitalization Corporation. “We are humbled by the generosity of the grant and more motivated than ever to build out an integrated framework for the LA River, to include recommendations that ensure the river is a public resource that inspires the healthy, vibrant, and resilient region in which we all want to live."

“There are portions of the Los Angeles River that can only be adequately envisioned by one of the most creative architects in the world today,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. “Frank Gehry views the physical embodiment of the L.A. River as an opportunity. The river has all this ability to carry water, which is only needed a small fraction of the time. How do we better utilize that space, especially where the river goes through the most disadvantaged communities? We need the best minds to help answer these questions.”

With this increased focus on the LA River and its potential as a recreational and active transportation resource, the City of Los Angeles created LARRC to champion river-oriented policy, sustainable public spaces, and create innovative models for community benefit and participation. This announcement marks the latest development in LARRC’s work to transform the River and expand its capabilities.

About the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation

The LARRC is a non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that the 51-mile LA River integrates design and infrastructure that brings people and nature together. The LA River Corp. was created as an independent organization by the City of Los Angeles to support the revitalization of the Los Angeles

River. We champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces, while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation.

We believe that the 51-mile Los Angeles River is integral to our quality of life and essential to building the healthy, vibrant, and resilient region in which we all want to live. 

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