With a pair of major new attractions on the way, Exposition Park officials announced Friday that the park's master plan would be updated for the first time since 1993.
The news comes as the starship-like George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art moves toward groundbreaking in 2018—and as construction continues on the Banc of California soccer stadium, which is set to open next year.
Billie Greer, chair of the Exposition Park Master Plan Committee, said at a press conference that the new master plan would position the park to take better advantage of its proximity to Metro's Expo Line and prepare it for the 2028 Olympic games, which would include events at the new soccer stadium and the venerable Coliseum.
Greer also optimistically predicted that the park would be "positioned to eclipse Central Park and Millenium Park" once its new attractions open.
"Move over, New York and Chicago," she said.
The master plan update will be overseen by architecture firm Torti Gallas + Partners and is expected to take about three years to complete. Torti Gallas principal Neal Payton said that the goal of the new master plan is to better link the park’s growing list of attractions, providing visitors with “comfortable and easy navigation” through the entire 160 acres that it covers.
Purchased by the state in 1885, the grounds of Exposition Park have been managed through a joint partnership between the city, county, and state since 1910, when construction began on what’s now the Museum of Natural History.
The museum just announced a major overhaul that will give it a new theater and entry hall. Meanwhile, a new pavilion housing the Space Shuttle Endeavour is on the way at the California Science Center and the Coliseum is set to receive a $270 million makeover, courtesy of the University of Southern California.
With or without a master plan, Exposition Park’s many attractions are gearing up for more visitors in coming years. But, according to Payton, a better plan will make the park a more cohesive cultural center.
“We want people who come here to watch a game or visit a museum to stay and see more,” he said Friday.