For those following The Bloc makeover project, we’ve seen a lot of new exciting developments that show a very bright future ahead for a once very dreadful place that stifled Downtown LA’s urban revitalization progress. We’ve seen what The Bloc will be like on 7th Street, Flower, and Hope. But very little was known about the 8th Street side of the project — until now. Yesterday, work started on three exciting permanent murals commissioned by The Bloc’s ownership, The Ratkovich Company, that will adorn the bland fortress-like walls, transforming the streetscape into a colorful and artistic urban experience.
The first of two murals by San Francisco artist Chris Lux started near the corner of 8th and Hope directly across the street from where future Philz Coffee customers will be sipping their cup of joe. Another mural by Lux will go up on the other opposite side near 8th and Flower. Finally, one very large mural by LA-based Sumi Ink Club will begin going up next Tuesday that will be centered around a driveway located toward the middle portion of the block. The entire three-part mural project will be completed in early December.
Even though work has just begun on the first mural by Chris Lux, which consists of a colorful array of cartoon-like figures representing the diversity of Los Angeles, there is already a surprisingly significant visual impact on the street. Because of the way the bright colors pop from the white-painted brick wall, it has already made walking down 8th Street a much more interesting and dynamic experience for the pedestrian. If you can’t have actual stores activating the street (because it was logistically impractical from the 8th Street side of The Bloc), then the next best thing is to activate the street with art. You can just imagine in a month how much more interesting it’ll be when the entire mural project is done.
As great as it is, that won’t be the end of upgrades for 8th Street. Apparently, a few more colorful (possibly neon) signs for stores in The Bloc will go up as well in addition to parts of the upper brick walls being completely ripped out, exposing the spiral ramps that take cars up to the parking structure.
More details will be revealed soon.