Famed architect tapped to develop Los Angeles River

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Famed architect tapped to develop Los Angeles River

LOS ANGELES - Internationally renowned architect Frank Gehry is working on a master plan to redevelop the Los Angeles River.

The designer of the steel-clad Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, has been working since last year on the long-running restoration project, the Los Angeles Times reported.

A plan adopted in 2007 would restore large parts of the 51-mile concrete-lined storm channel to its natural condition while linking it to parks, bike paths and other public areas as it winds from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach.

Gehry’s work will be on design elements that were left vague in the restoration plan, said Barbara Romero, deputy mayor for city services.

However, many details aren’t being released.

That irked one activist group, Friends of the Los Angeles River, which said it can’t endorse Gehry and wants a more grass-roots approach to planning.

“Last time there was a single idea for the LA River it involved three million barrels of concrete,’’ the group’s leader, Lewis MacAdams, told the Times.

The group is also concerned that Gehry’s input might interfere with federal funding for a $1.35 billion plan to restore 11 miles of the river. That plan was endorsed last month by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Gehry’s office did not respond to requests for comment Friday, the Times said.

The LA River Revitalization Corporation, the nonprofit organization coordinating the renewal effort, said Gehry’s work “will expand upon the decades of important work that has come before.’’ AP

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