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Greening Downtown Los Angeles: Park 101
Amidst an endless expanse of concrete and asphalt, Park 101 looks to provide Los Angeles with a much needed green space atop a half-mile length of the infamous 101 Hollywood Freeway. The proposal was assembled in an intense two-week workshop by interns in the 2008 EDAW Program. It provides a link between the city’s historical and financial cores, adding a much needed walkable public space to a downtown area burgeoning with renewed vitality.
Park 101 looks to connect the historical districts of the city including Olvera Street, Chinatown, and Union Station with LA‘s growing downtown government and business districts. It’s an effort to re-knit the city’s urban fabric in a fashion similar to the greatly successful Millennium Park in Chicago.
Park 101 is anchored by four elements. The first is the ½ mile park capping the 101-Freeway which will include an amphitheater, a large space for public gatherings, 101 swings, and a city forest. The second aspect of the park is a massive underground parking district on the freeway level, offering ample opportunity for people to park their car and enjoy the park. The third is an Iconic gateway of two green towers at the top of the park on Grand Avenue, one of which will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. The final aspect of the park will be a cluster of mixed-use development on par with the scale of the current historical neighborhoods.
“One implemented, Park 101 will provide the previously separated local communities north and south of the 101 freeway with not only new connections, but also new possibilities of merging, meeting and transforming the local cultures on the new grounds or Park 101.”
Recently presented to a large crowd in front of the Caltrans building this past June, the proposal is getting a serious look from the Planning Department of the City of Los Angeles and California Department of Transportation.
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