Los Angeles’ New Parklets Bring Color, Fun To the Street

West
Friday, February 8, 2013
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Enjoying LA's newest Parklet. (Sam Lubell / AN)

Enjoying LA’s newest Parklet. (Sam Lubell / AN)

Earlier this week, AN reported on the opening of Los Angeles’s first parklet in Eagle Rock. Thursday saw the arrival of the city’s second and third sidewalk-extending mini-parks, located on Spring Street in Downtown LA’s historic core. Created by architects/developers utopiad.org, designers Berry and Linné, and builders Hensel Phelps, the 40 foot by 60 foot parklets, located just a few parallel parking spots from each other, are impressively detailed and fitted, with wood planter boxes, minimalist bench seating, stone pavers, hardwood decking, and quirky touches like seat swings, astro turf, bar seats, colorful fences, foosball tables, and exercise bikes.

View of the northern parklet on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. (Sam Lubell / AN)

View of the northern parklet on Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles. (Sam Lubell / AN)

“We wanted them to pop,” said Rob Berry of Berry and Linné. “A lot of parklets can be pretty minimal.” Both are located on former active parking spaces, a reason that they took more than a year to get through the city’s approval process.

“We can close a parking space and it’s not going to be the end of the world,” said Siobhan Burke, one of the parks’ designers.

Rounding out the city’s four-parklet pilot program, The last parklet opens next weekend in El Sereno, a neighborhood in East LA. Funding came from the Gilbert Foundation, but most of the work was delivered pro bono. “I can’t believe this is LA,” said Daveed Kapoor, one of the leaders of the design team. “It’s better late than never. Now I want more.”

Fiona, one of the Spring Street Parklet's first visitors. (Sam Lubell / AN)

Fiona, one of the Spring Street Parklet’s first visitors. (Sam Lubell / AN)

The "active" parklet contains a foosball table. The other contains a bar. (Sam Lubell / AN)

The “active” parklet contains a foosball table. The other contains a bar. (Sam Lubell / AN)

Yes, there is foosball. (Siobhan Burke)

Yes, there is foosball. (Siobhan Burke)

Enjoying one of the parklet's exercise bikes. (Siobhan Burke)

Enjoying one of the parklet’s exercise bikes. (Siobhan Burke)

One Response to “Los Angeles’ New Parklets Bring Color, Fun To the Street”

  1. Linda Brownridge says:

    Now I want to move downtown! So much to enjoy in a small space! Attractive, intelligent, and thoughtful! Brilliant!!

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