Downtown's newest park is on pace to break ground as soon as this summer, according to an environmental report published last week by the City of Los Angeles.
Planned across the street from City Hall, the First and Broadway Civic Center Park would occupy a two-acre property that was once the site of a State office building. The 13-story structure was demolished due to earthquake damage in the 1970s, and for decades afterward, all that remained of the building was the remains of its foundation and a feral cat colony that came to call it home.
In 2013, the City of Los Angeles acquired the future park site from the State of California, and embarked on plans to redevelop it as park space. Following a design competition held in 2016, a winning submission from Studio MLA and OMA was selected over three other finalists. Their plans for the park calls for transforming the currently vacant space with landscaped and hardscaped areas, including plantings, walkways, lighting, and a two-story restaurant.
A project page from the Studio MLA website notes that the design "celebrates Southern California's landscape heritage [with] an iconic oak woodland and sycamore line arroyo." Plans also call for sculpted metal canopies interspersed with trees to create "an artful arrangement of shadows."
Construction of the First and Broadway park is expected to begin in either Summer or Fall of this year, and conclude approximately two years afterward.
Though officially a distinct green space, the First and Broadway Park will offer an expansion of sorts to the neighboring Grand Park. The 12-acre park, which opened in 2012, has become the home of a popular New Year's Eve gathering.
Broader changes are also sweeping through the Civic Center in the form of development, including a proposed tower complex adjacent to the former home of the Los Angeles Times, and a Frank Gehry-designed development which broke ground last year on Grand Avenue. Additionally, a new master plan for the Civic Center could bring new private developments into the staid government office district.
- First and Broadway Park (Urbanize LA)