Water Street: River of Dreams

Public Art

2003, Lincoln Heights/Cypress Park Station on the Pasadena Gold Line, Los Angeles

The design concept for this Metro Station is inspired by the nearby confluence of the Los Angeles River and the Arroyo Seco. A water bearer bronze sculpture based on an historic photo stands amidst boulders and at the top of a concrete and blue glass stream that passes between three flights of stairs. Her skirt and scarf have a watery texture. A “story fence” triptych evokes past and present river lore. The left panel quotes the chieftess of the indigenous Tongva people, the middle panel depicts a Tongva story about the coyote challenging the river to a race, and the right panel quotes a contemporary poet and river activist. Additional elements embedded in the sidewalks include Sycamore leaf prints, coyote footprints and manhole covers that chronicle the history of water in the city.

Commissioned by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, project manager Lesley Elwood.