The origin of the name Echo Park is not totally clear.
Legend has it that the name Echo Park came into use in the 1890s after workers building the newly
established city park now called “Echo Park” discovered that their
voices “echoed” off the bluffs and hillsides to the east and west. A variation of that legend says the name was coined more than 20 years earlier when
workers constructing a dam to create Reservoir No. 4, where Echo Park Lake is now located,
came across the echo.
Chronicles of the controversial negotiations in the late 1880s and early 1890s that created the park only make reference to Reservoir No. 4, according to Los Angeles Times articles of
the period. An August 1892 Los Angeles Times article makes reference to a “so-called Echo Park” when the city
budgeted an initial $5,000 for its creation—well before the first workers
according to legend showed up to hear the echo.
The name “Echo Park” does not start appearing
in the Los Angeles Times with any frequency until the late 1890s when it was applied to the park as well as the neighborhood.