People of Elysian Valley: Patrick Bylard


My full name is Patrick Bylard, this is Pat's Woodworks. It's my woodworking shop to create my instruments, my cajons, drums. And my other woodwork which, you know, wood screen doors, wood window screens, album cubes, custom furniture, I do art furniture also. It has changed to a marked degree, being that I live just north of here I remember as a kid, this wasn't an area that tall white folks came down to. There was a lot of heavy gangbanging going on down here. That has changed.

And it's right next to the LA river. Interestingly enough, when I was looking for a place, and I'm from Eagle Rock, which is just North of here. I said 'I love the space down by the river.' When I landed here, I thought this is the best thing for me because now I have room to expand. But working next to the river, it's just a joy to walk out this door and look over in that river. Watch the ducks, listen to the ducks fly by. The geese when they're in town and they're doing their thing. It's... the people even walking by, jogging by, riding their bikes and so on. There's life. If everyone's voice is actually heard, and the people who make the decisions decide on the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and really consider the established people that are in the area that they want to retro, they're really going to have to take into big consideration on that. Because as far as I'm concerned, it's not worth tearing down something that's being used and is viable, to create something that somebody else thinks is more viable. It shouldn't, no, it shouldn't cause any pain or hardship to people that are already established. It's, I don't see a further benefit to doing that... from what it is, my mention to you earlier: let's realize what this river really is, it's a flood control channel. It's there for a purpose, and to be able to have the trees and public access for hiking, walking, biking is absolutely wonderful.

Just having a big concrete basin running down, there's not much attraction there. But having the bottom out of it and having trees in it, and so on, that's fine and wonderful. If a storm washes them away, the storm washes them away. They grow back again.

But to put millions of dollars into something that could be destroyed really if not done properly. I know the civil engineers have been doing all their job and so on and so forth. If we have the amount of water that comes down that thing on an occasional basis, and it may be thirty years between each one, you're going to destroy all of the money that you put into it.

The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

Story continues below

We are dedicated to providing you with articles like this one. Show your support with a tax-deductible contribution to KCET. After all, public media is meant for the public. It belongs to all of us.

Keep Reading