Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Civic Park in Los Angeles: Designers, Dozens of Officials and a $56,000,000 Budget

"Civic pride shaping Civic Park"
Entertainment, Los Angeles Times (July 14, 2010)

"Downtown's $56-million project, which has its official groundbreaking Thursday, audaciously aims to be many things to many people - and that leaves some devilish details to sort out.

"Downtown's $56-million Civic Park is finally showing signs of life - and not just because construction crews have begun working this week on the sloping site between the Music Center and City Hall, with an official groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for Thursday morning.

"Over the last several months, a late-in-the-game effort by the park's designers, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, to give it a crisper look and strengthen its overall conceptual framework has paid real dividends. The design still shows the strain of trying to answer to dozens of interested public officials and constituent groups and their differing visions of what the park might be. Yet it has also begun to assert, for the first time, a coherent aesthetic identity...."

There's an old saying, 'too many cooks spoil the stew.' For the Los Angeles taxpayers' sakes, I hope that doesn't happen with their Civic Park.

I don't envy the people who do the actual work, trying to design a functional park:

"...For now, the main challenge at the park, which was funded by a $50-million payment from developer Related Companies as part of its now-stalled Grand Avenue mixed-use project, remains the same: how to squeeze an effective design into a tricky, sloping site pockmarked with underground garages and concrete ramps. In that sense the park is a symbol of the hurdles Los Angeles as a whole faces in trying to retrofit its civic spaces for a future in which cars no longer play such a dominant role in urban planning or daily life...."

Whatever happens, I'm pretty sure that someone folks will write letters to the editor, saying that if only the designers had listened to their ideas - - -.

On the other hand, if the finished product looks half as good as those drawings, the place will be quite attractive.

I wonder, though, looking at that top picture: What sort of trees have lavender leaves?


Brigid said...

Some fruit trees flower before the leaves come out, so the lavender could be flowers rather than leaves.

Good point, though.

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...


Thanks for that insight. The trees in the near background are rather light - almost white - so it may be intended as a 'park in spring' picture.

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