In the 1920s, civic leaders oversaw the creation of a number of local water sources, which were designed to meet the city’s growing demand. The Hollywood Reservoir (aka Lake Hollywood) no longer provides drinking water, but it’s still a popular spot for hiking, bird-watching, and capturing the perfect view of the Hollywood sign. Take a closer look.
(1) The Upper Reservoir
Along with reinforcing one side of the Mulholland Dam and lowering the water level by 35 feet, a secondary barrier was added as a precaution after a similar dam, the St. Francis, collapsed. The structure, which creates an upper and lower repository, was put into service in 1933.
(2) The Lake
Due to changes in environmental regulations, the LADWP stopped using the rainwater that collects in the lake as a potable water source in 2001. Enormous underground storage tanks that supply 500,000 residents have been installed below the Hollywood sign.
(3) The Helicopter
Since Angelenos now get water from other places (including the shade-ball-covered Los Angeles Reservoir in Sylmar), fire department pilots are allowed to fill up here before heading off to fight local blazes. At full capacity, the lake can hold 2.5 million gallons.
(4) The Mulholland Dam
Completed in 1925, it’s one of two local gravity dams that use the concrete’s weight to resist the force of the water. The other was the St. Francis, near Santa Clarita, which burst in 1928, killing more than 600.
(5) The Trail
A decade ago a series of winter storms caused nine landslides, partly wiping out the 3.2-mile paved trail around the lake’s perimeter. Walkers and joggers couldn’t use the full route until 2013, when $9.5 million in repairs to the hillside and pavement were finished.