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Real Estate & Architecture in Los Angeles

What’s With The Rowena Reservoir?


The Rowena Reservoir sits just north of the Silver Lake Reservoir in Silver Lake. As you can see by the above picture, the landscaping is beautiful – overflowing with palm trees, wide paths for walking, waterfalls, and gorgeous plants.

Sitting behind a fence, the reservoir (or “fantasy island” as local residents refer to it as) sits just out of reach – a tease to those of us who would love nothing more than to sit beside it one lazy sunny afternoon. So what is the deal with this “oasis” in the city?


In the late 80s, the LADWP started plans to cover up the reservoir  to protect it from sunlight and vandals, but the local residents revolted Рsince they were the ones who had to look at it every day they figured it should at least look nice. Work continued into the 90s, but eventually their plan came to fruition: the Rowena Reservoir was a sparkling gem in the middle of the neighborhood, but it was hidden behind a fence, off limits to just about everyone.


To add insult to injury, the reservoir isn’t even operational. It stopped functioning in 1992 – the 10 million gallon tank is buried underneath the park. The $14 million spent to beautify the reservoir now just seems like a waste. If people can’t get up close to enjoy it, why did they even bother?

The reason? The high voltage electrical equipment surrounding the park and the possibility of people jumping into the water. Rumors have swirled that one day the park might be opened up to the public if they could come up with a suitable plan to prevent both of these things from occurring, but as of now that hasn’t happened. As soon as it does, though, I’ll be one of the first ones there. So until then, fingers crossed.

If you know of any news on the possible opening of the Rowena Reservoir, please let us know in the comments!