Posts tagged ‘Biddy Mason Park’

TEN Public Spaces along the CicLAvia Route

This couple looks like they know how to use public space. This is actually a sculpture along the route... can you guess where?

In honor of our 10-10-10 CicLAvia date, CicLAvia is running TEN top TEN listings! So far: reasons, buildings, problems, neighborhoods, art, and what to do! Today’s deca-list features TEN noteworthy public spaces along the TEN-TEN-TEN CicLAvia route. We’ve listed them east to west below.

Unlike, say, much of the rest of the planet, but like, say, the most of the post-war suburbs, Los Angeles has some issues with public space! L.A. does have some great public spaces… but most of our public space is dedicated to automobiles. The rumor is that L.A.’s city fathers were actually worried about people getting organized and staging revolts in public spaces, so they designed the city mostly without any large central plaza spaces… and they encouraged more of the American Dream’s private yards and less of the public parks where we all can come together. Some of this is changing in recent years. We hope that CicLAvia can be an ongoing innovative use of L.A.’s public space… and CicLAvia can help us to re-think and re-learn how to improve public space around here. What do you think? 

We think all these spaces are… interesting… and worthwhile… but many of them aren’t quite perfect. Check them out on Ten-Ten-Ten and tell us what you think!

TEN PUBLIC SPACES ALONG THE CICLAVIA:

Hollenbeck Park, under the 5 and 10 Freeways

1. Hollenbeck Park
4th Street at St. Louis Street, Boyle Heights

Hollenbeck Park is a well-loved 118-year-old 21-acre park nesltled in the population-dense Latino neighborhood of Boyle Heights. About a third of the park is a good-sized central lake, and surrounding it is a diverse array of features: skate park, tot-lot, tall trees, grassy hillsides, recreation center, bandshell, excersize stations and more. It’s great public space and very popular – well-used by folks of all ages, mostly for picnicing and walking. Hollenbeck’s only serious drawback is that, since the 1950’s a freeway has cut through it, creating noise and air pollution in an otherwise bucolic setting. 

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The Los Angeles River and its famous 4th Street Bridge on the CicLAvia route - photo by Peter Bennett

2. The Los Angeles River
intersecting the ‘via route at the 4th Street Bridge

The city of Los Angeles was founded along the historic Los Angeles River, but soon turned its back on the flood-prone and drought-prone waterway. After major floods in the 1930’s, much of the river channel was encased in concrete, and forgotten. In recent years, communities, environmentalists, and municipalities have envisoned a restored, revitalized and naturalized river in the heart of the city… but these efforts are proceeding slowly, and the river remains largely an eyesore. Is the river’s revival a test of the city’s commitment to renewed public space? (more…)

August 26, 2010 at 4:34 pm 2 comments


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