Reading the coverage of Saturday’s meeting in today’s L.A. Times, I’m sorry that I didn’t make it to the unveiling in Lincoln Park yesterday of the three finalists’ conceptual designs for the new Los Angeles State Historic Park (aka The Cornfield) — if for no other reason than to roundly hiss and piss upon the submission of the eastcoast-based firm of Field Operations, which hypes its idea as “a radical proposal, a practical solution.”
I have an in-built skeptometer that pegs whenever practicality is proferred as a point of sale, but I’ll certainly agree with the “radical” part, in which their plan expands faaaaaaar beyond the park’s intended and allocated acreage to include nothing less than the demolition and relocation of Dodger Stadium, which they abruptly refer to as “obsolete.” What I particularly love is that the New York company trotted out an L.A.-based architect named Thom Mayne to deliver that edict… as if having a local say it somehow lends it more credibility while also buffering any blowback at the outsiders for saying the destruction of the treasured landmark is long overdue.
owners Frank and Jamie McCourt are salivating all over this plan.
Putting emotions aside as best I can at the thought of one of my favorite places disappearing from the landscape, I still can’t get past the incredulity I feel toward Field Operations for redrawing the park’s footprint at an increase of some 640%, from its existing 32 acres to 205 — 60 of which would of course be allocated for residential and commercial development. How does that happen? Did they just look a little to the side of the Cornfield and say “Hey, what’s say we get rid of Dodger Stadium!?” Not that I’d ever be against more urban parkland, I just find it highly suspect when out-of-towners color so far outside the lines. It may just be me, but if I’m designing a 32-acre parcel into public parkland, you can count on me to pretty much stay within those boundaries. You can also count on me to shake my fists at any New Yorkers who come here with little regard for anything other than their grand plans of remaking the place in their own image and for their own gain.
park taken from an image by L.A. Times photographer Ken Hively.