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Los Angeles Times

L.A. River planners float three design proposals for a major new park

By MIMI ZEIGER, JULY 17, 2019

The three design schemes look totally distinct on paper and come with different names — “Island,” “Soft Edge,” “The Yards” — but they all have the same goal: restore wildlife habitat, plant people-friendly landscapes and develop flood-control strategies for a place that has been the subject of so much neglect, speculation, dreaming and debate: the L.A. River.

Some of the loudest conversations about the transformation of the 51-mile L.A. River center on Taylor Yard, what had been a greasy, soot-filled tangle of rail lines and boxcars. Throughout the 1940s and ’50s, freight trains rumbled to and from the yard named after the Taylor Mill that once stood on the site. When Southern Pacific Railroad vacated the land in the mid-1980s, the company left behind a contaminated plot along the concrete-lined waterway.

Taylor Yard, often referred to as the G2 parcel, has emerged as the heart of the ambitious L.A. River Revitalization Plan, an initiative for an 11-mile stretch of river and part of a multipronged effort to renew habitat and create green space for Los Angeles residents in adjacent neighborhoods along San Fernando Road — Cypress Park and Glassell Park — as well as Elysian Valley across the river.

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