Begun in 1976 and completed over five summers, the Great Wall employed over 400 youth and their families from diverse, social and economic backgrounds working with artists, oral historians, ethnologists, scholars, and hundreds of community members. “The Great Wall” is painted on the concrete retaining wall of the Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley. In addition to restoring the mural between 2009-2011, SPARC will also be constructing a new solar-lit “green” bridge with interpretive stations, and constructing five additional stations along the wall to provide access to the historical content of the mural.
Judy Baca and SPARC have collaborated with wHY Architecture to complete the designs for the “Green Bridge” which will be solar lit and composed in part from the debris of the Los Angeles River with interpretive panels along the expanse of the Bridge from which the public can view the River and the ½ mile of mural along its banks. A site plan, elevations for the bridge, materials, budget, schedule of construction have been completed for the bridge. A full model of the bridge has been built reviewed by County and City department representatives. The new Great Wall Interpretive “Green” Bridge will replace the former bridge which crossed the Tujunga Wash Flood control Channel between Miranda Street and Hatteras Street on the west side of Coldwater Canyon Blvd. The new bridge will function not only as a point to cross the Tujunga wash but also as a viewing station and interpretive center to view the Great Wall of Los Angeles mural and the Los Angeles River.
The total impact of the bridge will be that it will be an instructional site about the river and the history of the diverse people of Los Angeles while it reconnects the two sides of the channel.