The Invisible Divide: Bridging the LA River Through the Arts
Merlet, Jaclyn M.
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Dividing neighborhoods and entombed in concrete, the LA River inhabits a prohibitive zone rarely entered or acknowledged by the city above. Threat from winter floods and transgressive behavior by the river's transient dwellers further enforce this invisible divide. One community to embrace the transformed river is that of local artists. Multicolored murals and elaborate graffiti against the bleak channel expanses draw attention from bridges overhead. Poets and performance artists wade in the shallow depths to enact a one time work, seen by few but part of the river history. As politicians and citizens call for river restoration, this thesis proposes an art center and crossing as both a legitimate outpost for local artists and focal point in the Elysian community on this newly awakened landscape. With barriers removed, the art center leads the community to the open waters below, and a bridge physically unites the divided neighbors across the banks.
- Architecture