Posts Tagged ‘Look’

Curbed – Video Interlude: Here’s an Animated Look at Union Station’s Big Makeover Plans

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

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We’ve been hearing a lot about the big changes coming to Downtown’s Union Station as part of the long-term Union Station Master Plan—a big rearrangement of the layout, a new grand concourse, new uses for the beautiful old ticket room and Fred Harvey restaurant—but now we get to see some of them: animated! In this video via The Source, Metro Deputy Executive Officer Jenna Hornstock offers up a great condensed version of the makeover and some highlights of the plans to transform Union Station it into not only a “world-class transit facility but also a destination that serves everybody.”

ONE DAY IN LA : THE FUTURE OF UNION STATION from FORM follows FUNCTION on Vimeo.

· One Day in LA video looks into the future of Union Station [The Source]
· Behold Union Station’s Huge Plans: Sub-Train Concourse, New Terminal, Fred Harvey Revived [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – LA History 101: Taking a Look Back at Five of LA’s Bygone Racetracks

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

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LA’s sport culture now revolves around baseball-hockey-basketball, but there was a time when it involved racing–racing cars, camels, or horses, and doing it on wood and dirt tracks. From Beverly Hills to El Sereno, races drew celebrity attention, awarded major purses to the winners, and sometimes riled up neighbors who didn’t like seeing fun (or vices, depending on your position on gambling) going down in their neighborhoods. Ultimately, many of them fell victim to development, but each had quite a run.

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Hollywood Park, early 1930s [Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

↑ Agricultural Park (later, Exposition Park) near what’s today Figueroa and Exposition Boulevard once had a racetrack used for horse, dog, and camel races, and later, some of LA’s first cycling and car races. “With gambling, prostitution, and related activities banned inside the city limits, these vices migrated across the boundary into Agricultural Park,” says KCET. From about the 1880s to 1899, when the city annexed the park and killed the fun (bustling saloon!), this was the place to be to gamble to your heart’s content.

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Beverly Hills Racetrack, 1921 [Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

↑ Opened in 1920, the Beverly Hills Speedway was an all-wood track, built by the Beverly Hills Speedway Syndicate. According to the Beverly Hills Historical Society, the track took up most of the southwest section of the city, but it didn’t do so for long. The last race on the track was held in 1924; it wasn’t as valuable as the land it was on, and was shuttered and dismantled to make way for new developments, like the 1928 Beverly Wilshire hotel, which was erected on part of the former racetrack property. During its short but busy existence as a track, it hosted car races and at least once motorcycle race, as this incredible 1921 footage shows.

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[Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

↑ By the fall of 1924, sportswriters at the LA Times were already talking about the massive new wooden track in Culver City that had taken away the glory of the Beverly Hills track by doing everything bigger, better, and faster. (According to an LA Times Auto Section article dated October 1924, it was decided on October 11 that the Culver City wood track would go up on the 131-acre site of a horse track in the city; the promise was made that it’d be done in time to hold a race that coming Thanksgiving, and they delivered, though the first race on the track was postponed until December.) Engineered by the same man as the Beverly Hills Speedway (Art Pillsbury), the track at Culver City promised to be “thrillier” and safer than the Bev Hills. Records were set, matched, and shattered on the course, but by the fall of 1927, it too faced a similar fate as the Bev Hills track: it was reportedly demo’d to make way for a housing tract. (The name lived on: in 1932, a new dirt track at Washington and West Adams, also called the Culver City Speedway, opened.)

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Legion Ascot Speedway, 1927 [Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

↑ Located in what would today be called El Sereno (but right near the border), the Legion Ascot Speedway was nicknamed the “killer track” at the time because 24 people died on it in just 12 years. (Despite the claim that the track was also the first to use safety helmets.) The track’s trademark deadliness contributed to the track’s disuse and eventual abandonment; it burned down in 1936, lit aflame by a former employee sick of all the carnage, according to an LA Times retrospective of the track. The retrospective points out that this racetrack was part of a long Legion legacy: there were four Ascot Speedways in different locations throughout LA County between 1907 and 1990.

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Hollywood Park, early 1930s [Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

↑ Hollywood Park could have been east of the present-day Santa Monica airport on National Boulevard, but old-time NIMBYs weren’t having it, so the Inglewood location was chosen, says an October 1936 article in the LA Times about the coming race track, at which time film director/Turf Club President Alfred E. Green told the reporter that no race purse would ever be less than $ 800. (Later, Inglewood would also put up a good fight over having a gambling and drinking establishment in their town.) The Hollywood Turf Club was lousy with industry people, and had shareholders like the Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, and Bing Crosby. The racetrack closed in 2013 to make way for a huge new mixed-use project.
· How Agricultural Park Became Exposition Park [KCET]
· El Sereno’s Legion Ascot Speedway [ESHS]
· Legion Ascot Speedway 1924-1936 [LHLA]
· Massive Hollywood Park Redevelopment Finally Beginning [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Rendering Reveal: Take a Look at the Big Mixed-Use Complex That Will Preserve/Obscure Sherman Oaks’s Sunkist Building

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Here’s our first look at the enormous development planned for the site surrounding the sweet brutalist Sunkist Building in Sherman Oaks (originally designed by AC Martin Jr.)—can you spot the 1971 building in there? The plan from developers IMT Residential will soon be getting the once-over from city planning officials so they can decide what needs to be on the project’s environmental impact report, says the Daily News; as it stands, the development will create 360,000 square feet of new space for retail and commercial tenants and 298 apartments, in addition to the 120,000 square feet of office space already inside the Sunkist building, which will be preserved and incorporated into the development. So far the designs look, well, massive.

· Los Angeles Planning Department to review development plans for Sunkist building in Sherman Oaks [LADN]
· Sunkist Building Getting Surrounding Mixed-Use Development [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Green Space: Take a Look at Grand Park’s Forest-y Forthcoming Playground

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Downtown’s Grand Park is getting a playground with Teletubby-esque mounds, a tunnel, and a modern tree fort with an enclosed, 12-foot tube slide. Intended for five- to 12-year-olds, the much-needed kid-space fills a gap at LA’s newish central park, where there’s currently no designated play-place for the elementary-school set (they do gravitate to the fountain, however). The $ 1-million, forest-themed play area breaks ground tomorrow, and, when finished, will be about 3,700 square feet, reports the Downtown News. Designed by local firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios (also the park’s architects), the play area should be up and running by November.

· $ 1M Playground Coming to Grand Park [LADN]

Curbed LA

Curbed – LA River Rising: Take a Look at the LA River’s First Visitor Center and Cafe

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014


[All photos by Grove Pashley]

Just in time for the sure-to-be sweltering summer, the LA River has a riverside “oasis” cafe opening up. Hop off the LA River bike path at Newell Street to find the Frog Spot, the new visitor center for Friends of the LA River that will double as a cafe serving up coffee, snacks, and entertainment. (It’s also accessible from the street and has “ample parking.”) Starting this past weekend, the Elysian Valley cafe—operating out of a white trailer—offers neighbors and weary river path travelers free WiFi and ice water, popsicles, public restrooms, outdoor seating under “shade sails,” and “the only bocce ball court on the LA River.” They’ll also have patches and pumps for bikers, and lots of information about the river, kayaking trips, and more.

The Frog Spot is funded by Miss Me Jeans, REI and Metabolic Studios, but all sales at the cafe and from future events will go toward further FoLAR programs along the river. The cafe is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 8 am to 4 pm through October 5. Ticketed events will take place Saturday evenings from 5 pm to 8 pm, and information on those events will be at Frog Spot’s website.
· Frog Spot Cafe [Official Site]

Curbed LA

Curbed – Rendering Reveal : First Look at 33-Story Mixed-Use Tower Headed For South Park

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

We heard the news back in April that the parking lot at Ninth Street and Hope in North South Park would be sprouting a 33-story tower from prolific developer CIM Group, but we’ve had to wait until today to get a good look at it. As seen on Brigham Yen, the designs from architects RTKL show retail facing both Ninth and Hope in every possible groundfloor space, from the tower to the mixed-use parking structure (car levels sandwiched by retail on the ground floor, resident amenities on the roof).

Between the FIDM, the Ralphs, nearby restaurants, and the pricey 8th + Hope up the block, which will see move-ins this summer, there’s sure to be plenty of foot traffic for the new shops when they open. The parking structure’s expected to wrap construction next summer, and the tower should break ground in the late fall of this year and be ready sometime in 2016.
· New Renderings Reveal Lots of Ped-Friendly Retail Coming to 888 S Hope in Downtown LA [BY]
· 33-Story Rental Tower, Mixed-Use Garage Headed to NoSoPa [Curbed LA]

Curbed LA

Curbed – DevelopmentWatch: First Look at Expo-Adjacent Denny’s Mixed-User in SaMo

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

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[Conceptual rendering of 1560 Lincoln via Santa Monica Planning Commission Report]

Back in 2012, plans were announced to turn a Denny’s on what will be Expo-adjacent property into a mixed-use development, but they’ve just finally made their way to the city approval process, reports the Santa Monica Daily Press. Last week, developer NMS Properties informally presented their designs to the planning commission ahead of official negotiations with Santa Monica. Plans call for a five-story building with 100 units and 11,500 square feet of groundlevel commercial space, but city officials weren’t bowled over, critiquing what they felt was a lack of green space and an “inconsistency” with surrounding buildings, among other things.

They were joined by reps for FSTAR, whose own mixed-use project at the site of a shuttered Norms is kitty-corner to this one. These are dark, sad times for Santa Monicans who love to eat breakfast for dinner. Both projects are headed to negotiations at city hall, then onto the city council, which will have to give final approval.

SMDP calls these “the first two projects proposed as a part of City Hall’s long-term plan for a residential mixed-use corridor along Lincoln near the incoming Expo Light Rail station.”

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· Development of Norms, Denny’s plots considered [SMDP]
· Denny’s to Join SaMo’s Expo Line Terminus Mixed-Use Party [Curbed LA]
· Stubby Lincoln/Colorado Mixed-User in SaMo is First of Four [Curbed LA]

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