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First look at Destination Crenshaw, an open-air ‘museum’ set to run along the Crenshaw Line

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It will run 1.3 miles along the above-grade section of the Crenshaw/LAX Line

A “a potential treatment” of the existing Crenshaw Wall.
Courtesy of Destination Crenshaw

The first renderings were released today for a 1.3-mile-long “outdoor art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles” called Destination Crenshaw.

Designed by Perkins + Will, the project would run along Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 60th streets, and feature permanent and rotating works of public art as well as streetscape upgrades with landscape design by Studio-MLA.

Destination Crenshaw was conceived as a response to Metro’s decision to put a section of the Crenshaw/LAX Line along Crenshaw Boulevard at ground level instead of underground.

Having a street-level train run right though a major artery’s business district concerned many community members, who feared years-long construction above ground would harm businesses along the corridor.

Many saw the money-saving decision to put the train at-grade along this portion of Crenshaw as yet another instance of their community receiving the bare minimum. Metro was sued over the project.

“This is unheard of in the city,” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who is leading Destination Crenshaw, told the Los Angeles Sentinel in March. “But we’re doing what our community has always done: We’re turning insult into opportunity.”

Courtesy of Destination Crenshaw

Destination Crenshaw is designed so that the Crenshaw Line’s Hyde Park station and the at-grade portion of the rail line will have clear views of all the artwork and upgrades.

The outdoor art gallery will include a new public amphitheater with a raised overlook, 11 new pocket parks and parklets that will be built and outfitted with art as a part of the project, and hundreds of new trees, according to today’s announcement.

Destination Crenshaw will also incorporate the Wall of Crenshaw, a roughly 800-foot-long mural featuring prominent black thinkers, activists, and performers that was briefly vandalized and quickly restored in late November.

“Everything that we build is simply a backdrop to the innovative, artistic spirit that is alive and thriving here” in the Crenshaw district, said Zena Howard, principal at Perkins+Will. (Howard was also the senior project manager for the award-winning Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.)

Construction on Destination Crenshaw is expected to get underway in early 2019 and is slated to open to the public in the spring of 2020—right before the Crenshaw Line is scheduled to start running.