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Downtown’s Music Center Plaza Is Getting a $30M Makeover

Easier street access and more event capacity

Grand Avenue’s Music Center Plaza is about to get a major renovation for the first time since it opened to the public in 1964. Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, along with Music Center President Rachel Moore, announced plans Monday for a $30 million renovation of the space over the next two years.

Often overshadowed (literally) by the prominent Downtown venues that stand above it, the plaza is a gathering place and event space in its own right. Thus, a major part of the plan would increase event capacity from 1,500 to 2,500, as Los Angeles Downtown News reports. The stairway to the plaza from Grand will also be widened to make the space more welcoming and pedestrian-friendly.

The remodel will also include the addition of restrooms, three restaurants, and a new water element to complement Jacques Lipchitz’s "Peace on Earth" sculpture and fountain. The topographically jumbled plaza will also be flattened, with connection points to the surrounding Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Mark Taper Forum, and Ahmanson Theatre being rebuilt for easier access.

The county has already given $2 million to plan the project, with $25 million of funding expected down the road. Meanwhile, the Music Center hopes to raise another $5 million for the renovation, along with $5 million for future programming at the plaza. Construction is expected to start in February 2017.

As KPCC reports, the renovations are in part an attempt to make the Music Center more accessible to diverse audiences. Solis said she wants the plaza to serve as a performance venue in its own right—offering outdoor shows in a community-oriented space.

According to Downtown News, the Music Center also intends to launch a summer festival with free events in the plaza once construction is completed. If all goes according to plan, that’s expected to be in spring of 2018.

Los Angeles Music Center

135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, California 90012