John Ferraro Building Reflecting Pool Returns to its Former Splendor

Standing high atop Bunker Hill, the LADWP John Ferraro Building (JFB) is at once embraced and surrounded by its distinctive and alluring water feature: the James Anthony Reflecting Pool. On any given day, you can see first-time visitors pause to take in its majestic fountains, its wide expanse and its unobstructed views of the Los Angeles skyline. It is the constant backdrop of many a wedding or quinceañera coming of age photo shoot and has been featured prominently in various Hollywood movie scenes. It has also been the site of many speeches, protests and gatherings related to LADWP and L.A. City business.

Yet for all the attention it garners, most employees see the reflecting pool as a point of pride or simply a peaceful place where one can take a leisurely stroll and enjoy some fresh air. Many also recognize it as a place where we have come together to celebrate our collective achievements and to mourn the losses of our fellow employees. The pool serves as both an architectural expression of the JFB and as a vital component of its heating and cooling system. By extension, it is also an inextricable part of the Department and a symbol of Los Angeles.

In recent years however, the pool had begun to experience a deterioration of its various systems, particularly its lining, which had begun to leak water into the subterranean floors of the building. That is why the loss of the pool was felt so deeply when the water was drained, the lights faded and its fountains ceased to roar in September of 2019.

Albert Rodriguez