When it came to finance a new Los Angeles River bridge between Awater Village and Griffith Park, the L.A. River Revitalization Corp. turned to Morton La Kretz. Who? La Kretz is not exactly a household name but the Los Angeles landowner, developer and property manager has emerged as one of city’s most generous benefactors, helping fund La Kretz Hall at UCLA, the La Kretz Innovation Campus in downtown Los Angeles, the La Kretz Hall of Hope at the City of Hope and a PATH homeless housing complex near Silver Lake. During the 2009 dedication of another La Kretz Hall, this one at Cal State L.A. in El Sereno, La Kretz said he had spent many years in neighboring Boyle Heights and was the first in his family to attend college.
Now, the 86-year-old La Kretz, who purchased and restored Hollywood’s landmark Crossroads of the World complex, has pledged $4 million to build a cable-suspension bridge to carry pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians across the Los Angeles River. La Kretz, in response to an Eastsider request, explained his interest in L.A. bridge building:
A bridge over the L.A. River serves many purposes. At a local level, it connects neighborhoods with Griffith Park and the L.A. River Bike Path. In the bigger picture, it jump-starts projects, activities and support for the L.A. River Revitalization project, and it is an integral part of a larger vision to make the L.A. River a vital part of this city.
To read the full Q & A on The Eastsider LA click here.