Bowtie Project

The Bowtie Project is a partnership between Clockshop and California State Parks to activate an 18-acre post-industrial lot along the LA River. Since 2014, Clockshop has executed over 90 artist projects, performances, and events at the Bowtie.

Formerly a massive rail yard and switching station, the Bowtie was purchased by CA State Parks in 2003 to be developed as a public park and greenway. The Bowtie Project is curated by Clockshop, in close collaboration with CA State Parks.  Invited artists are commissioned to create temporary artworks or performances that consider the unique physical properties of the site and engage in timely conversations about the future of the LA River.

Public programs including Bowtie Field Day and Reading By Moonrise provide opportunities for Angelenos of all ages to gather under the stars for traditional campfire programs and readings of new work from contemporary writers. 

Michael Parker's The Unfinished, 2014
Photo: Alexis Chanes
Aerial photo of Taylor Yard
Photo: Gina Clyne
ACE Fall Design Studio, Woodbury University
Photo: Gina Clyne

The Bowtie was formerly the site of a Southern Pacific Railroad train yard and maintenance facility. The railroad closed the facility in 1985, and the structures were razed shortly after, although some concrete foundational relics remain on site.  The Bowtie is located along the 11-mile Glendale Narrows stretch of the LA River, which connects Los Feliz Boulevard with Figueroa Street. The Glendale Narrows portion of the river is “soft-bottom,” meaning that it features a naturalized rather than a concrete bed. The site has been identified as a key location for river revitalization.

Through an exclusive partnership legally formalized in 2017, Clockshop and CA State Parks will continue producing cultural programs at the Bowtie Project for the next several years.

*Please note: the Bowtie has minimal amenities for visitors. There is no drinkable water, no seating, and very little shade. The site is approximately 3/4 mile from end to end, and includes two direct river access spots. Please be extremely cautious when visiting the Bowtie after rainfall. During Clockshop events, the gate is open and parking is available on site.