Member-supported news for Southern California
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Support for KPCC comes from:

Dive deep into the history of the LA river via audio tour

Ways to Subscribe
LA River Interpretive Signage Program

Throughout the years as the Bowtie parcel has laid dormant, people have taken it upon themselves to install pieces of art, including signs and an audio tour.

On a recent reporting trip I found myself standing right alongside the LA river in the area known as Frog Town. It's tucked between the 2 and 5 freeways, northeast of downtown LA.

It's a place you may have driven past plenty of times and never paid much attention to, but you'll be surprised by what's there. I know I was when I arrived at a dilapidated train yard for an audio tour.

Artist Rosten Woo has installed signs and posts that correspond with the audio embedded above. There are ten sites part of the LA River Interpretive Signage Program - an art installation designed to help people navigate a deserted industrial area along the LA river called the Bowtie Parcel.

(Gina Clyne for Clockshop)

Back in 2003 the California State Parks bought the land with the hopes of turning it into the first LA River State Park. However, the land hasn't changed much. There are still remnants of the old train yard with broken asphalt and plants growing everywhere.

But rather then let the land exist as it had, Clockshop, has worked with artists to design a series of programs to bring art and usability to the industrial area.

(Gina Clyne for Clockshop)

With Woo's tour, people can read signs and listen to narrations about the river, the city and the nature that surrounds it. If you'd like to take the audio tour you can click through here.

The final installation of Woo's project is opening up this weekend.

If you'd like a better idea of what the tour's about, you can listen to our full piece which is embedded at the top of this post.

Stay Connected