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Brightly Colored Chairs, Food Carts Coming to New Civic Park

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As the Thursday groundbreaking for the downtown's new civic park draws near, Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne gives his take on the updated green space and provides some juicy tidbits. First off, Hawthorne, originally skeptical about the Rios Clementi Hale design, has warmed to the numerous revisions. He likes the idea to bring unfettered chairs to the park (shown) that can be moved and rearranged to parkgoers liking. Hawthorne is also fond of the park's north-south pathways based on Goode projectors and made to represent the city's diversity.

He also likes the idea to line the park with food carts, the plan to build two support buildings--one being a Starbucks near Grand Avenue--that will bookend the park, and the idea to have the Music Center operate the green space; Hawthorne believes that will allow more outdoor music experiences for the public. (ED: Please NO Grove-like SINATRA)

A compromise has been made, Hawthorne writes, between the added green space and the numerous underground garages and entrance/exit 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." Hawthorne also gives a nudge to city benefactor Eli Broad to throw some bucks at adding outdoor public art.

· Civic Park in Downtown Beginning to Take Shape [LA Times]
· Downtown's Civic Park Likely Finished by Next Mayan Apocalypse [Curbed LA]

Grand Park

S. Grand Ave. & W. First St., Los Angeles, CA