A new master plan approved last week by the Board of Directors for Exposition Park and the California Science Center is set to guide the development of new green space at the 152-acre park over the next 25 years.
"Exposition Park is one of the most historic and treasured places in the Los Angeles region," said California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot in a news release. "As Exposition Park's offerings have grown and diversified, this Master Plan charts a course for greater access, equity, and environmental sustainability through an innovative and bold vision."
The plan - which was developed over a four-year period by by Torti-Gallas + Partners, AHBE | MIG, KPFF, Consensus, Sapphos, and Biederman Redevelopment Ventures - starts by addressing Exposition Park's links to the surrounding community, which is flanked by the wide, busy corridors of Vermont Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and Figueroa Street.
New entrance gateways to the park - particularly along its southern perimeter - would be complemented by active transportation infrastructure. The City of Los Angeles has recently engaged in a complementary effort to ease access to the park for cyclists and pedestrians, potentially through the addition of new protected bike lanes and other traffic-calming measures.
These efforts would dovetail with plans for improved pedestrian circulation within the park itself, adding new seating areas, plazas, and landscaping to connect the various museums and sporting venues which dot its landscape.
The most ambitious efforts are slated for the southern perimeter of the park. Under the master plan, surface parking lots along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard between Hoover Street and Figueroa would be relocated into a below-grade structure, capped by more than 14 acres of new green space at surface level.
"The greening of this area of the park nearest to neighbors addresses the inequity that exists, since the northern section of the park is green, unlike the southern side" said Billie Greer, the board member who chaired the master plan committee.
The northern part of Exposition Park, which sits across the street from the USC campus rather than the residential neighborhood that otherwise wraps the park, includes the historic Rose Garden.
Adoption of the master plan comes after years of sweeping change at Exposition Park, including the notable addition of LAFC's Banc of California Stadium, which now stands at the former site of the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena.
On the western side of the park, construction is now underway for the $1-billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which will add 11 acres of green space along Vermont Avenue.
Additionally, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History is slated for a $60-million renovation along Bill Robertson Lane, and the California Science Center has proposed a 200,000-square-foot expansion to serve as the permanent home for the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
- Exposition Park Master Plan (Urbanize LA)