Sound mapping the Los Angeles River. © Vogt Landscape

Owens Valley

Jawbone Canyon "Siphon" 

St. Francis Dam site

The Cascades



Sound mapping the Los Angeles River. © Vogt Landscape

The water rushes through ducts from the Owen‘s Valley through the Mojave desert until it reaches the city in what is known as „The Cascade“ and follows its course through the city of Los Angeles as a viaduct.

After the floods of 1914 and 1934, which caused the destruction of homes, bridges and infrastructure, channelization of the river became a priority. 20 years later, the river had been completely encased with more than 3.5 million barrels of cement.

The construction of the „flood control channel“ be- gan in 1938, the same year that another flood brought the city once more into chaos. The city continued to expand as walls were raised higher and more measures were taken to control the water flow. Simulations and models were constructed in a quest to control the force of nature.

Warner Brothers Studios

Griffith Park

1st Street Bridge

Junipero Beach

The Los Angeles Aqueduct system was designed and built by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power under the administration of the department‘s Chief Engineer; William Mullholland.

The original project comprised 356 Km of conduit, which was then further extended to include the Mono Extension and the Second Los Angeles Aqueduct. Construction began in 1908 and was inaugurated in 1913 before a crowd of 40,000 as Mullholland uttered the words that would mark history, „There it is - Take it!“.

The aqueduct runs from the Owens Valley to the city and diverts water using gravity alone. In 1913 the city covered an area of 172 Km2 , expanding to more than 585 Km2 in less than 7 years. The aqueduct fostered the rise of suburbia and incited the fractured urban structure, now characteristic of Los Angeles. It also made it impossible for the farmers of Owen‘s Valley to continue with their agricultural practices, forcing them to leave their territory and home.