Today was another great step forward in Downtown LA’s evolution in becoming a mature urban center that’s balanced not only with more needed density but open space as well — two important ingredients needed in urban planning that encourage a pedestrian lifestyle. The 0.7 acre Spring Street Park, nestled in between two historic condo high-rises — The Rowan and El Dorado — between 4th and 5th Street, officially opened at 10 am with a community gathering and inauguration that included downtown residents, community stakeholders, and LA Mayor Villaraigosa along with Council Members Huizar and Perry. The mood was cheerful and celebratory as today’s park, designed by Lehrer Architects, opening marked an important milestone for the Historic Core that further establishes the district as a bona fide urban residential community.
Not only is the new Spring Street Park a wonderful new addition to Downtown LA, but it should become a model for future smart growth in our growing urban center. Spring Street Park, which broke ground two years ago, started out as an ugly surface parking lot (i.e., dead zone) that provided little-to-no value to the community’s livability. However, with the park’s grand opening today, residents and visitors alike were treated to a park replete with a sprawling oval lawn, trees, landscaping, a fountain, and a fun playground for parents and their kids. As Downtown LA continues to grow and evolve, we must help guide its future by pressing for more changes that cater to the pedestrian instead of the automobile.
Also, because we obviously want to keep the park CLEAN and ENJOYABLE for everyone, it is important for downtown residents to take PRIDE and OWNERSHIP of the park (love it like your home) and “report” (take a picture of) any dog owner who does NOT clean up after their dog defecates anywhere in the park. Take a picture and email it to the Spring Street Park “Wall of Shame.”