L.A. River

By Michael Kolster ’85. George F Thompson Publishing, May 2019. Available on Amazon. Three centuries ago, the Los Angeles River meandered through marshes and forests of willow and sycamore. Trout spawned in its waters, and grizzly bears roamed its shores in search of food. The river and its adjacent woodlands helped support one of the largest concentrations of indigenous peoples in North America, and it also largely determined the location of the first Spanish Pueblo and ultimately the city of Los Angeles. The river was also the city’s sole source of water for more than a century before flood-control projects made the L.A. River what it is today. Michael Kolster relies on a nineteenth-century photographic technology to render the Los Angeles River today, from its headwaters in Canoga Park and the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean in Long Beach.