Los Angeles Department of City Planning

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Los Angeles River Bridges

On January 30, 2008, the Los Angeles City Council approved designation of several Los Angeles River bridges as Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCMs), adding eleven new landmarks to city's collection of HCMs. 

The Cultural Heritage Commission had previously recommended designation of these eleven bridges on November 1st, 2007.  These bridges spanning the Los Angeles River from downtown to the San Fernando Valley constitute one of the largest concentrations of National Register-eligible bridges in the nation.  Built between 1909-1944, the majority of these bridges were constructed by the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, under the famed bridge building program of Merrill Butler, Engineer of Bridges and Structures from 1923-1963.   

Previously, only three bridges (Glendale-Hyperion Viaduct, Fletcher Ave Bridge, Macy St. Bridge) had been designated as HCMs.  Concerned over proposed renovations by Bureau of Engineering (BOE) as well as the possible demolition of the Sixth St. Bridge (1932), the Cultural Heritage Commission exercised its right to initiate consideration of HCM designation at its meeting of September 6, 2007.  The staff of the Office of Historic Resources initially identified 13 bridges that appear eligible for local designation.  Of these, 11 were recommended for landmark designation: 

       North Broadway-Buena Vista Bridge (1909-11)

 Main Street Bridge (1910)

Olympic Blvd. Bridge (1925)


Seventh St. Bridge (1910/1927)

North Spring Street Bridge (1928)

First Street Bridge (1929)

Washington Blvd. Bridge (1931)

Fourth St. Bridge (1931)

Sixth St. Bridge (1932)

Riverside-Figueroa St. Bridge (1927/1939)

The staff of the Office of Historic Resources provided at the Cultural Heritage Commission hearing a full presentation on the history and construction of the Los Angeles River Bridges.  We have enclosed the presentation below for your information. 

Please contact Edgar Garcia, Preservation Planner, at 213-978-1189 should you have any specific questions or concerns.