Downtown LA Park Falls Short as a Whole

According to architecture critic Chris Hawthorne, Downtown Los Angeles' Civic Park does nothing in the way of creating its own identity. Instead, it neglects its image as a whole by being too fixated on its "aesthetic responsibility."
March 15, 2009, 9am PDT | Judy Chang
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"[Park designer Mark] Rios talks about the park as a crossroads for the city, and in a physical and symbolic sense as a linchpin between the cultural institutions at the top of Bunker Hill and political ones at the bottom. Both those ideas have potential on a conceptual level. But they remain vastly underdeveloped in the design itself.

The park's planners on the Grand Avenue Committee have said that programming its spaces with concerts and other cultural events will be enough to generate excitement and draw crowds. But they overlook the fact that design can be a highly effective kind of programming in its own right. In cities around the world, talented landscape architects are taking brownfields, abandoned factories and the remnants of car-centric planning and spinning them into inventive parks that produce buzz as much for their striking forms as for what events they hold or activities they make possible."

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Published on Thursday, March 12, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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