Two years after the City of Los Angeles closed on its $60-million purchase of the Taylor Yard's G2 Parcel - called the "crown jewel" of the L.A. River restoration by Mayor Eric Garcetti - a community presentation details design alternatives for the 42-acre site.
Located along the north bank of the river in Glassell Park, the Taylor Yard was once the Los Angeles-area base of the Southern Pacific Railroad. In the three decades since the rail yard ceased operations, much of its former real estate has been redeveloped into a mix of park space and housing. Today, the G2 Parcel - sandwiched between the river and commuter rail tracks - is all that remains.
The presentation, given at a community meeting on May 18, provides three design options for converting the G2 Parcel into park space, each of which will require substantial soil remediation on account of the property's past industrial use, as well as considerations to the flood control functions of the L.A. River channel.
"Inspired by the story of the river," the Island design option would involve slicing a channel through the G2 Parcel.
A conceptual site plan shows terraced treatment ponds at the center of the park space, with connections to Rio de Los Angeles Park and the opposite side of the river through a series of pedestrian bridges. Additionally, plans call for approximately 4.5 acres of new buildings, including a cafe, a youth center, a museum, a restaurant, parking facilities, and a cafe.
The "Soft Edge" design option calls for extending the river bed into the current footprint of the G2 Parcel, cutting away concrete barriers to create a new flood plain.
Plans call for a similar assortment of new buildings within the park, located at the southern corner of the site, as well as connections across the river via pedestrian bridges.
The third option, "The Yards," gives a nod to the G2 Parcel's railroad heritage, recreating the footprint of the historic roundhouse at the center of the site.
A wetlands area would be created at the center of the park by pumping in water from the river. As with the other two alternatives, The Yards would include new buildings and pedestrian crossings to the west side of the river.
A full environmental impact report will be conducted before the G2 Parcel is made available for public use, with temporary improvements scheduled to come online in 2024. The full slate of improvements, designed by WSP and Studio MLA, are scheduled to begin construction in 2026 and open by 2028.
Though the Taylor Yard is a major component of the L.A. River restoration, other major projects are planned along the meandering stretch between Griffith Park and Downtown Los Angeles, including multiple pedestrian crossings and parks. Additionally, Metro is pursuing a $365-million project which will close the eight-mile gap in the L.A. River bike path between Frogtown and the City of Vernon.
Los Angeles County has initiated its own master plan for the full 51 miles of the river in collaboration with architect Frank Gehry. Studio MLA and Perkins + Will are also working on restoration efforts for the Lower L.A. River, which stretches between Vernon and San Pedro Bay.
- G2 Parcel (Urbanize LA)