Friday, May 29, 2009

Glendale Blvd: Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct

The Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct is really two bridges that merge into one. You have one bridge for Hyperion Blvd. and one for Glendale Blvd. (both start in Silver Lake) and they merge over the LA River and the 5 Freeway to become one road (Glendale Blvd.) in Atwater.

The bridge was completed in 1929, and dedicated in 1930. For an amazing history of the bridge and its construction, complete with old construction drawings and photos, check out this post on the amazing LA blog Big Orange Landmarks.

Of particular interest on this site is a link to some pictures of an electric cable car that used to run on the bridge. Why did LA get rid of these?

I love the details on this bridge, such as the molding at the joint here. Why can't they do something this interesting with a freeway?

Under the bridge is a whole other world.

How did the graffitier get down here paint? Did he or she take a boat? I'd love to see some graffiti kids getting in a canoe and getting down here to paint. It would almost make me love graffiti.

The bridge is also home for one person. He wasn't there when I shot this, but he came up from the river when he saw me poking around.

Now I see this guy all the time when I'm crossing the bridge in my car. It's strange because I feel like I kind of know him, or at least I know where he lives, which is more than I know about most people.

Next to the bridge is an entrance to the middle of the LA River's bike path. The path starts just north of the 134 and continues almost all the way down to where San Fernando crosses the river.

It's a great ride and provides a unique glimpse of LA, fitness freaks next to homeless people next to the freeway next to wildlife next to power lines next to garbage and graffiti. But at least there are no cars.

Here's the plaque that gives all the important names. Click it to see a larger version, or, like I said earlier, go to Big Orange Landmark to get the history on who these people are.

Next to the bridge, just inside Atwater, is this place, Cabellero School of Dance and Dave's Accordian School. Back in 1971, Dave had a dream, to teach the world to play accordion. Keep the dream alive Dave. Read his history here.

Of particular interest to me was who Dave has worked with. From his website:
Dave provides repair and technical services to a growing list of both local and out-of-state professional accordionists and bands, including Weird Al Yankovic, Glen Hartman of New Orleans Klezmer, Dennis Prager of KRLA radio, Danny Elfman enterprises, the James Taylor band, Thomas Koppel of Savage Rose, Eric Melvin of NOFX, the Dixie Chicks and the Pogues.
Dennis Prager the asshole bigot, Weird Al the genius from Lynwood, and the Pogues who I'm kind of ambivalent about. Interesting mix of clients.

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Phyllis Harb said...

As a young girl, I always enjoyed the round storm covers in the wash - the ones painted as cats.

The Sights The Sounds said...

I know the storm covers you're talking about. I love them too. I'm not sure if they're there anymore, but I'm going to do a series on the LA River in the future and I'm going to cover all the art down there.