arts district, downtown los angeles

New Arts District Park Adds More Green Space to Downtown LA

Opening on Nov 5, the new Arts District Park is much needed green space added to a growing urban community

A brand new $1.6 million park is now open in the burgeoning Arts District in Downtown LA. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on Saturday, Nov 5, celebrating the exciting grand opening of a much needed outdoor gathering space for a rapidly growing urban community that’s seeing unprecedented growth in both residential and commercial developments. Everywhere you look is something new coming to the next corner. With all that rapid change, there’s no doubt the new Arts District Park will play a significant role in supporting that future growth making the community more livable and inviting.

At only half an acre in size, the park is not very big, but it still makes a big impact on the community as it is efficiently designed to pack a lot of uses into a smaller footprint. Upon entering the park, you’ll realize that it’s got lots of places to sit and lounge. There are concrete benches scattered throughout along walkways and an area by the children’s playground with tables and chairs that’s perfect for bringing your lunch or enjoying a cup of coffee (i.e., from Urth Caffe next door perhaps?). And if you’re feeling like lounging on some grass, there’s a lot of that too. In addition, there’s a band shell area where future outdoor performances will be held that will be great for gathering the community together.

One of the most important things about creating a successful urban park is easy and convenient accessibility for pedestrians to walk to (think about how easy it is to get to a park in a pedestrian-oriented city like New York for instance). The new half-acre Arts District Park sits in an ideal location at the corner of 5th and Hewitt surrounded by a diverse range of uses (i.e., restaurants, residents, and office workers) that will help feed and activate the park throughout the day due to its close proximity. Directly across the street is the always-packed Urth Caffe as well as the 297-unit Barker Block condo building. In addition, the park is adjacent to the La Kretz Innovation Campus with its many office workers who now have a place to go outside for a breather. To further help make the park more accessible, there is a Metro bikeshare station conveniently located by the park’s front entrance.

The Arts District Park started construction almost two years ago in December 2014. It is now open every day from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm according the Arts District BID.

The Arts District Park is located at 5th and Hewitt in Downtown LA

The Arts District Park is located at 5th and Hewitt in Downtown LA

Arts District residents since 2006, Andy and Porsha with their dog Berkeley, think added green space makes the community more livable and enjoyable

Arts District residents since 2006, Andy and Porsha with their dog Berkeley, think added green space makes the community more livable and enjoyable

There are lots of places throughout the park to sit

There are lots of places throughout the park to sit

What a great place to enjoy some lunch or a cup of coffee

What a great place to enjoy some lunch or a cup of coffee

A cheerful playground for the kids as DTLA becomes more family-oriented

A cheerful playground for the kids as DTLA becomes more family-oriented

A view from inside the playground

A view from inside the playground

This area with the band shell can accommodate future outdoor performances

This area with the band shell can accommodate future outdoor performances

Adding green space to the Arts District helps make it more attractive and livable

Adding green space to the Arts District helps make it more attractive and livable

Besides the grass, other plants in the park are drought-tolerant species that require little watering

Besides the grass, other plants in the park are drought-tolerant species that require little watering

Metro bike share station located conveniently outside park

Metro bike share station located conveniently outside park

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10 Comments

  1. Lawrence says

    It’s a great little green space for the neighborhood. The front gates make it look like it’s a private park, however. A lot of people walked by after their lunch at Urth Caffe and weren’t sure if they were allowed to enter, which isn’t ideal. The space itself, however, is nicely designed with a good mix of grassy and shaded seating areas. Now if we have have about 10 more of these spaces around downtown, that would be great.

  2. Mike Chen says

    I’m not a big fan of the super tall fencing surrounding park. I get that the people of LA can’t ever keep things nice (look at Spring St Park a disaster), but at least make the fence less “prison like.”

  3. Wow it looks great! The playground reminds me of California poppies and does anyone know what kind of performances will be held here? I think outdoor movie screenings would be fun too.

    • Richard says

      I’m down for oldies 80s and 90s summer movie nights under the stars!

  4. That fence and entrance doors is an absolute disgrace. Why on earth couldn’t they have put one small effort into the design aesthetic of the fence? They even used the same generic fencing material around the playground. It’s the arts district – industrial. Brick columns and iron fencing would have looked great. Sadly we are stuck with generic prison fencing.

  5. David Ackman says

    The fence reminds me of the kinds they have at dog kennels. I’ve been by the park and the fence obscures the view into the park so it feels disconnected from the outside. Why can’t they just change the fence?

  6. FCDTLA says

    This one little park is nice but you need like at least another two in the Arts District alone. What about people who live in the Biscuit Lofts or the new Garey Lofts? It’s too far from them to make a difference. This park only benefits Barker Block.

  7. Michael says

    Nothing says welcome to a public park like a big ol’ steel fence surrounding the entire place…

    That being said, everything else looks great, really glad to see some much needed greenspace in the area.

    Fence aside, very nice work!

  8. Andy W says

    Nice to meet you, Brigham, and thanks for advocating for pedestrians in DTLA and complete streets and park space. This park has a great design….I advocated for no fence at community meetings, but understand why some folks want it. Of course, I also suggested no street parking around the park to increase access and sight lines, but got shot down immediately! Arts District and DTLA in general need more green space, but we have to start by using what we have and keep advocating. I hope fellow dog owners also try their best to keep the park free of dog waste and have dogs go before they come into the park. The grass is so nice and I don’t want a dysfunctional debate like the one Spring St Park had a few years ago. Let’s enjoy this great park. I’m also extremely excited for Cornfields to open in January. That’s a game changer.

    • Thanks for the comment Andy! It was very nice to meet you as well. I completely agree that dog owners should be responsible and let their pets go to the bathroom BEFORE entering the park. And if there’s an accident, to clean it up promptly. It’s the absolute worst when you have dog owners who leave their dogs’ shit lying around waiting for someone else to come pick it up! Anyway, I also think the fence should be changed in the future to something more transparent.

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