Friday, August 29, 2008

Fletcher Viaduct & 1938 LA River Flood

Photo: California Historical Society, LA City Planning, 1938. Aerial view of Fletcher Los Angeles River Bridge and the Pacific Electric Fletcher Red Car Viaduct. (Click on photo to enlarge with street annotations.)

In 1938, the Red Car Neighborhood in Silver Lake was largely undeveloped near the intersection of Fletcher and Riverside. In the photo above, a small tract of homes is under construction on India Street.

February 27 through March 3,1938 record rainfall caused flooding throughout Southern California that destroyed a railroad bridge at the confluence of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers near Elysian Park. Over 10 inches of rain fell in 5 days. The river had a natural bottom and had not yet been lined in concrete by the Army Core of Engineers. Studies to control flooding were under way since the catastrophic 1934 New Year's Day Flood, when it rained over 7 inches in 24 hours.

Learn more about Los Angeles River history on The River Project's website. See the City's vision for a revitalized Los Angeles River in their master plan.