Monday, June 16, 2008

Downtown Freeway Park Cap Study Begins!

Yesterday, 24 interns from around the world gathered at the Cal Trans Building on Main Street to begin a two week study of how a section of the Hollywood Freeway that runs through Downtown Los Angeles can be capped with a park. The study will also examine how the communities on each side of the freeway can be connected with each other and made more pedestrian accessible.

This project is sponsored by EDAW which is also doing the official study of he Hollywood Freeway Cap Park in the heart of Hollywood.

The day started with welcoming speeches by Doug Failing of Cal Trans, the principals of EDAW - whose names I did not catch, EDAW project coordinators Mike Williams & Gaurav Srivastava, Planning Director Gail Goldberg, Jessica Wethington McClean who represented Councilman Jose Huizar and moi.

Afterwards, I gave a tour of the project area between First Street and the Plaza/Union Station area on Alameda all the way up to the Music Center and the Performing Arts High School on Grand Avenue and pretty much everything in between. We managed this all in under four hours.

My impression of the project after this first day is that EDAW has assembled a talented team of in-house staff members and local civic leaders to assist the interns in developing a much needed vision for both our Civic Center and our historic center. If anything, I think connecting these two sides of the freeway will be the easy part; the far bigger challenge will be to find a way to make the neighborhoods on each side of the freeway places one would want to connect with.


tornadoes28 said...

Not to brag or anything but several years ago before I heard or read about this idea I thought they should cap this section of the freeway. I was thinking who I could submit the idea to but then I read about it shortly after.

It is a great idea, now more the ever with the new high school on one side and the cathedral on the other. It is a great idea.

Ginny-Marie said...

Edaw's LA Principals include Vaughan Davies - I swear everything he touches is amazing! Looking forward to what they come up with!

jaime said...

This would be one of the most powerful civic moves we could make as Los Angeles. Imagine the experience of walking out of Union Station and having a seamless experience from Olivera Street to City Hall, without the barren yet loud, gaping hole of the 101. I partnered with an architecture friend of mine & we started working on 'Los Angeles Park' as a conceptual project.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Bunker Hill Towers a few years ago and took metrolink to work. For a while (instead of taking the red line) I'd walk from union station to home so I could stop and get food in Chinatown or Olvera Street... but I gave it up specifically because that walk over the 101 in the evening was so unpleasant. A park area like that would really change everything, and be a huge help to Chinatown.

The thing I would miss is that the murals on that section of the freeway were pretty cool. But as I recall they are halfway painted over now anyway.