January 21, 2020 — This LADWP house stands vacant — except for the woodpeckers that are using it as a granary — at the Dry Canyon Reservoir facility in the Seco ("Dry") Canyon section of Saugus. The house is rumored to be slated for demolition by LADWP.
The house was built sometime in the early-mid 1940s; it does not appear in 1940 (and earlier) aerial photographs but is present in 1947 (see below).
Maintained by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Dry Canyon Dam and Reservoir is a component of the (City of) Los Angeles Aqueduct system. Predating the St. Francis Dam, the facility was built between 1910 and 1912 as a small compensating reservoir to regulate the flow of water coming out of the two hydroelectric power plants in San Francisquito Canyon (Power House 1 and Power House 2).
The dam was heavily damaged in the 1952 Kern County earthquake and was subsequently repaired, but a necessary overhaul was deemed too expensive, and the reservoir was drained in 1966. The creek downstream from the dam was converted to a concrete-lined flood control channel when the Saugus residential community began to encroach on the LADWP property.
Google map accessed January 2020.
LW3682: Download original images here. Photographs by Leon Worden.