6HWbNHN-show-poster2x3-c7tgE2Y.png

Artbound

Start watching
MJ250sC-show-poster2x3-Bflky7i.png

Tending Nature

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
5LQmQJY-show-poster2x3-MRWBpAK.jpg

Reporter Roundup

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams.

RAC Design Build: Looking at the Present and Future of Elysian Valley

Support Provided By

NELA-logo-thumb-148x97-48224

The NELA River Collaborative project builds upon the growing momentum of efforts already underway to transform the Los Angeles River into a "riverfront district" and to create a focal point of community revitalization. For more information visit www.mylariver.org

Elysian Valley is a small neighborhood nestled in between the Los Angeles River and Elysian Park. Its unique mix of residential and industrial activity creates a rich and fluid complexity, with long time businesses and residents interacting with new arrivals made up of art galleries, studios and L.A. River enthusiasts.

Rick Cortez is a business owner who is engaged and motivated by this complexity. He is the founder and principal architect of RAC Design Build Studio. Founded 1989, the Studio is a full range architectural design studio and custom fabrication shop that specializes in both residential and commercial architectural design, and construction.

For this interview, Youth Voices student producers from The L.A. River School spoke with Rick about his history and appreciation for Elysian Valley, and his role in the evolving nature of the neighborhood and the L.A. River.

Below are some of the photos taken by the student producers during our visit:

The interior of RAC Design Build Studio
The interior of RAC Design Build Studio
RAC project board
RAC project board
Residential model
Residential model
Work table covered with parts for possible light fixtures
Work table covered with parts for possible light fixtures
Finished light fixture
Finished light fixture
Finished lamp on display
Finished lamp on display
RAC lounge
RAC lounge
RAC
Rick Cortez answers students' questions during tour of Studio
Rick Cortez answers students' questions during tour of Studio
Rick Cortez answers students' questions during tour of Studio
Workshop looks out to Coolidge Ave. in Elysian Valley
Workshop looks out to Coolidge Ave. in Elysian Valley
RAC Patio leads out to the L.A. River bike/walking path
RAC Patio leads out to the L.A. River bike/walking path
RAC.StopSign

Support Provided By
Read More
Black and white photo of Chinese squid fishermen drying out squid in Monterey, California.

Olfactory Racism in the United States Has a Very Old Stench

The stigmatization of Chinese immigrants as a threat to public health and safety has a long history in the United States. It emerges from an entrenched mode of racism that targets not only Chinese bodies, but Chinese air.
Perez takes a break during his therapy. He could barely breathe when he was admitted to Los Angeles County’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in early June of last year.

Learning to Live Again: A Lazarus Tale from the COVID-19 Front Lines

Vicente Perez Castro, a 57-year-old cook from Long Beach, could barely breathe when he was admitted to Los Angeles County’s Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. At a certain point, the doctors told his family that he wasn’t going to make it. Months later, here he was — an outpatient at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, the only public hospital in the county whose main mission is patient rehab.
A keychain hangs from a lock on a doorknob.

Landlords Can Sign Up for Rent-Guaranteed Program to House Homeless Angelenos During the Pandemic and Beyond

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority today urged property owners to sign up for a program that matches landlords with people experiencing homelessness, with rent guaranteed by the government.