When developer Tom Gilmore sold the parking lot next to the 137-year-old Vibiana, a former church and current events space, he wanted to ensure nothing tacky and/or out-of-place went up. It looks like his finickiness paid off–renderings from new developer Weintraub Real Estate Group, via Building Los Angeles, show a sleek mixed-use apartment tower that doesn’t loom over the landmark (the site was entitled for a skyscraper) and that seems like it’ll be a nice addition to Second Street. Nadel Architects (1111 Wilshire) are behind the proposed nine-story building, with 238 units, 3,600 square feet of retail, 303 underground parking spots (no parking podium, thank God), and an outdoor plaza linking the building with the Vibiana and its groundfloor restaurant. The project was just presented to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council’s Planning and Land Use Committee, so we’ve got a ways to go before we see this thing come to life.
The stretch of Figueroa Street (and environs) between Seventh Street and Exposition Park has been seeing an enormous amount of action lately, so thank heavens LADOT’s MyFigueroa project, which will majorly transform the street itself, is looking healthy following the setbacks of the past few years. MyFig completely redesigns the street to make it more friendly to bikers, pedestrians, and transit riders (in addition to, of course and as always, motorists). LADOT has just released new renderings, plans, and website for the project, and plans to hold a community meeting on April 9. MyFig will still feature “people-focused streetscape elements like pedestrian-oriented signage, transit platforms for boarding buses, and a three-mile bikeway complete with bike signaling … high-visibility crosswalks, widened sidewalks, transit platforms, more street trees and landscaping, better signalization and signage, and public art,” according to a press release. More generally, “the project will physically connect South L.A. and Downtown.”
Streetsblog breaks down the details: “North of exposition the road design calls for five mixed use travel lanes. South of exposition it’s down to four mixed use lanes and a bus only lane. The bus only lane provides a buffer of sorts for bike traffic heading south.” The adjacent stretch of Eleventh Street (from Fig to Broadway) will also be reconfigured–it’ll lose one of its two westbound traffic lanes and get a one-way westbound bike lane; its northern sidewalk will be expanded. Part of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on the south end of the project will get repaired paving and more lighting and street trees.
Now that that lame-o 405 shutdown is over, let’s get to the good shutdown–there’ll be another installment of CicLAvia this Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. This time, the linear block party has a new route, running 9.1 miles from MacArthur Park to the Civic Center to Little Tokyo to Chinatown and Mariachi Plaza. As a press release says, the route “offers a veritable grand tour of Los Angeles’ most celebrated attractions, connecting the world-class museums of Exposition Park with the architectural landmarks surrounding the newly completed Grand Park in the city’s civic center,” and to prove it, CicLAvia has put together an architecture map with the help of the LA chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Check it out above (you won’t find it anywhere else right now), along with a full map of the route.
· Here’s the October CicLAvia Map With Big New Route Changes [Curbed LA]
Judging by the old Google Street View image, looks like these flippers built a Streamline Moderne facade out of whole cloth. This house in Santa Monica (originally built in 1936) last sold in May 2011 for $ 516,000 and since then has been “rebuilt from the studs,” according to the listing. It now has a second story, a detached garage, a xeriscaped front yard, a patio, plus four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a dining room, and a step-down living room. The listing requests: “Don’t be turned off by freeway proximity (double paned windows block out any noise and the views are great).” Asking price is $ 1.3 million.
· Streamline Moderne Renovation [TVOA]
DOWNTOWN/CHINATOWN: Another lovely Sunday afternoon, another CicLAvia, another gajillion happy Angelenos. As un-carness gets bigger and bigger in LA, the 10-mile road party continues to feed into everyone’s previously untapped desires to go nuts, ride bikes, play giant chess, and hopscotch in the streets. Our always game and generally kickass Curbed photographer Elizabeth Daniels took a four hour walk yesterday for CicLAvia number four–from Eighth and Hill, down Spring and Main, up to Chinatown, and back. Here’s her take:
“Like the other years I covered this, I had a feeling of swelling pride to be a native and a resident of LA.
“People were in a great mood and like the other CicLAvias, it was amazingly diverse. Every age, gender, race, economic background was represented. Its such a great melting pot. People are so kind to each other and everyone is just there to have fun. It felt safe everywhere I went.
“That bike ride is really something. I don’t know what it does to people but everyone is in harmony and its really amazing to be a part of. It feels very inclusive…The biggest thing that was different about this year compared to the others was that there were a lot more people.
“Also, there was a strange but hilarious trend of men with little dogs in backpacks, baskets etc… Lots of dogs, but a very distinct trend of men carrying their dogs on their bikes or on their backs…
“Also there was a guy riding around in a bunny suit who was surly. He had some bling on around his neck and was scowling at everyone. I saw people fist pounding him as he walked by. I think it would have been less funny if he were smiling at everyone. There was also a guy riding in a head to toe black spiderman costume.
“That’s it. I’m so happy I went. It really is such a special thing. And the weather was perfect.”