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Will Public Art Revive the 'Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles'?

Once called the "Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles," MacArthur Park later became known for crime and prostitution. While it has yet to experience a revival like other L.A. parks, an unusual public art project has generated renewed interest in the park.
October 1, 2015, 11am PDT | wadams92101
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MacArthur Park in Los Angeles is the scene of an unusual and colorful art project.  Three thousand spheres—painted with artistic designs by over ten thousand people—have been floating in the park's lake.

Opened in 1890, the park was loved by the people of Los Angeles and offered the perfect venue for leisurely strolls, boating in a lake, and popular Sunday concerts. The park was surrounded by luxury hotels and the area even became known as the Champs-Élysées of Los Angeles. . . the park [later] became known for violence and crime after 1985 when gangs, shoot-outs, prostitution, and drug dealing became commonplace.  Over the years, the City of Los Angeles has undertaken various efforts to improve the park, such as the installation of surveillance cameras, the creation of a recreation center, and the opening of Levitt Pavilion which offers free concerts. 

Los Angeles County planner Clement Lau. He goes on to note, however, the park has yet to experience the revival of other Los Angeles parks like Echo Park Lake or the redesign efforts focused on Pershing Square. Nevertheless, the public art project called The Spheres at MacArthur Park has attracted many visitors and generated renewed interest in the Park. 

The Spheres display has been going-on all summer and was set to expire at the end of September. Luckily, you still have a chance to see it, if you haven't already (or see it again if you have) because it has been extended, through the CicLAvia - Heart of LA event on Sunday, 10/18, when key central Los Angeles streets will be open only to bicyclists, pedestrians, and other active-transiters. 

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Published on Monday, September 21, 2015 in UrbDeZine
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