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Has anyone been able to find the official info on this??? The State of California website which is supposed to have the info does not seem to have it
Personally mdler...I wouldn't be looking for a Cornfield in California....but a bunch of Corn Fed Iowa girls in California....They might be a competition.
Click "view by Category"
Click "Architecture & Engineering"
Select "Architectural Consultants / Civil..."
and then look for the header "Conceptual Design" with the subtitle "RFQ, Los Angeles SHP"
is this a new competition for the site or are you looking for info on the original project?
mdler likes to start threads. i just need another post right now....
It's a qualification based award, so it probably won't go to a youngster unless they have big boys behind them.
well, if anyone is still following this one, the three finalists present their designs this Saturday:
hmm, I don't have the hang of posting links on this system yet, let's see if this worlks:http://www.calparks.org/inside-parks/designer-needed.html
any insights into who will be picked???
hope its not Mia, her work is lame compared to hargraves or fO.
I have to recuse myself since we're on Hargreaves' team.
I don't know if there are any plans to post the designs on the Internet after the presentations; if I can find out I'll post about it.
I forgot that I saw katie at the first presentation. So how did the unvailings go?
Don't recuse yourself- I want to hear the biased opinions about the other projects. (ps- I have classmates at both fO and Hargreaves)
you were at the Aug 24 meeting? then you don't need me to tell you how the three teams presented themselves....we didn't really have any part in the initial quals presentation though, just had to show up and listen.
the designs are being presented this COMING saturday, so I haven't seen the other 2. and I have only an ant's eye view of what's going on with our team. so it will be very interesting to see how it all turns out.
just got back from the presentation. too blitzed to really post much yet. but this much is clear: of the three designs, two were apples and one was an orange.
the orange, in this case, is the proposal by Field Operations and Thom Mayne to tear down Dodger Stadium, relocate it to the Cornfields site, put in five levels of subterranean parking next to it, put in a park area over the parking, develop part of the stadium site as a housing development "like Playa Vista," and do various things to refurbish the rest of Elysian park and connect it to the Cornfields site.
there will be writeups in the LA Times tomorrow and Monday and as to what will grab the headline, I give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.
is fO offering an orange or a lemon?
dogers stadium is not a neighborhood park....
they're answering a question other than the one that was asked.
Bugger....I thought we were talking about Iowa Farm Girls!
I believe you have to register, but it's free. There are pictures of some of the boards, but none showing the plan views. I took some pictures, must download and see if any of them come out. The boards were along one side of the room next to the chairs, and it was really difficult to get past the crowds to see them or get a shot of them.
the boards will be at the Chinatown branch library from Oct 16-21 and at the Cypress Park library Oct 23-28.
with all the proper disclaimers that I am a lousy photographer...
Np- your photos are jast as good at the ones in LAtimes! you can tell that the paper got their images just like you did- only they didn't use a flash.
Many thanks for the update.... MLA rose to the challenge- better project from her then I've seen before. Still, I like the radical fO thought about expanding elysian park - restoring chavez ravine and using the ball park as the anchor of the corn(er) fields nearest to downtown. The problem with fO's scheme, is how does it connect to the river????
well, you don't see it looking at just the plan view of the site itself, since their scheme is to create one single thousand-acre park connecting elysian park with the cornfield site.
I snagged the handout that was given to community members showing the 3D views of the three schemes, which I've now scanned and added to the flickr set linked above. (you can tell where I folded them to stuff them in my purse.) it might give a little bit better view of the field operations/morphosis proposal.
Chris Hawthorne (LA Times architecture critic) was in the audience, so I expect he will voice his opinions in the Times later this week.
fO's project does provide for a river-overlook from the Cornfields property, plus an expanded wetlands area south of the Cornfields site (I'm not sure what is there today).
One problem - in terms of river access - that none of the schemes directly addressed in the renderings is the active rail lines that separate the Cornfields from the river. Those need to be moved or bridged or something, and as I said, the renderings didn't explain what would happen to them.
The proposal by fO is definitely the most thought-provoking, and I'm glad the bad-boys decided ignore the rules. The proposition also clearly builds on the latest LANow research of rethinking Dodger Stadium. And so the fO/Morphosis proposal places the LANow research more directly into the public forum (Cornfields is receiving Times coverage, whereas LANow has not) - and the "what if?" value of LANow is probably most meaningful if it shifts the public debate about development, the future, space, etc in LA. So I appreciate the fO proposal, although its hard to imagine they will win the competition.
Sweet jumping MARY AND JOSEPH!! As a Dodger fan...all I can say is leave Dodger Stadium where it is.
as a dodger fan, i visited the park for some afternoon drinking recently, and was appalled by the gnarled condition of it: a 60s brutalist concrete structure far removed from any public amenities and surrounded by sloped, barren parking, no amount of nostaligia should allow that decrepit structure to remain where it is.
A recent resurgence of intrerest in the history of the nieghborhood that once formerly occupied dodger stadium, Chavez Ravine, sheds light on the civic ineptitude that turned dodger stadium into a case study of eminient domain gone awry.
watch, "The History of Chavez Ravine" on Google Video.
A disclaimer, I formerly worked with one of the subs on the construction of San Diego's new Petco Park stadium designed by Antoine Predock, so was fortunate enough to monitor the construction of what i would consider to be an extraordinary baseball park and thus, have had my opinion on stadium design grossly tainted. Nothing beats the small measure of childlike glee gained from punchlisting both the Padres clubhouse and the stadium's Beverage Control Room.
As a native angelino, I'm impressed with the boldness of the Field Operations scheme, and no amount of memories from my summer camp days will upstage my newfound desire to see Dodger Stadium demolished.
...additionally, i'm pleased that FO was the only entry where the LA river isn't portryed as some idyllic pastoral wonderland filled to the brim with emerald-blue water.
The LA river is only full during the off-occasion of SoCal rainfall, and during those moments it's a brown runoff, rushing at full speed towards Long Beach, and conoeing some plastic shopping bags and someone's forgotten rusty Cutlass along for the ride.
will the state parks commission buy the fO plan???? that is who needs to be swayed into expanding the definition of the park.
That said -MLA is the most 'park-like' proposal - so predictable that she can't think about any larger concepts.
Marlin - were you able to test the beverage delivery system to see if the taps worked as specified?
...AND... the FO also renders public space in Los Angeles accuratey, where the only cultures that actively engage public space in SoCal are hipster dog owners and Hispanics.
(tree: nope, testing wasn't my job. I merely had to make sure they were all there, went to where they were supposed to go, and that the terrazo sloped up high enough around the intakes and walls, OSHA signs, blablabla... but jeeza louisa! What an operation in that one room! It's like coming face to face with the wizard of oz! When you're a child, itt's hard to imagine that all that syrupy, alcohoic chicanery is controlled from one location!
Remember the architect's room from the matrix? reimagine all the televisions replaced with clear plastic hosing.)
Marlin- got any pics floating around???
Oh about fO/morphosis- Thom and Jim are two smart cookies. MLA and Hargreaves have no intellect that can compare to those eggheads, so yeah, they would have gotten the dogwalking latino pedestrians right.
it couldn't possibly have been more clear that the fo team was not interested in winning the competition but in gaining a platform for publicizing a planning exercise. which is one way to approach the competition, I guess a bit like being a third party candidate in a national election, not because you hope to win but because you want your position aired.
which is all well and good, but I can't help wondering what message it sends to the community groups who fought the original development plan, and what it says about the cornfield as a historic site. because it basically obliterates the cornfield site. it does not seem to me that much time or attention was devoted to the "park" that will go over the five levels of subterranean parking. some degree of lip service to a "linear forest" and parallel "botanic walks" and "culture walks" etc. (why all separate?) but I'm sorry, those couple straight rows of trees are a little stark even for me, and I like my griddy bosques as much as the next person.
you could argue the point of the historical significance of the cornfield site itself, since it's been scraped off so many times and the Zanja Madre and the water wheel and all those other elements that the design was supposed to pay tribute to, are in fact long-departed ghosts. you could pay tribute to those things anywhere.
and just about everyone involved with the process has noted that way too much has been loaded on the Cornfields as THE PLACE that will bring us all together, give us open space, reconnect us with our history etc. etc. (not to mention bringing about the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and causing the lion to lie down with the lamb.) you gotta take that stuff with a grain of salt. but you also have to balance it with the meaning that the site has acquired in the minds of many people and the emotion that has been focused there. I would tend to see that meaning and emotion as an asset, not a side issue to be ignored in the interest of bringing about a mega-project in Elysian Park.
that Elysian Park needs some serious help, and that nobody would weep large tears if the current Dodger Stadium fell under the wrecking ball, are separate issues. and I don't think sacrificing the cornfields site is the right way to solve those problems.
as for the other two designs, I believe I can say this much: there were a lot of similarities, almost to a scary extent. cultural gardens (even right down to the fact that some of them were to be left undefined for later development), a linear timeline element, bridges, big media screens, nods to sustainability (constructed wetland, habitat, etc.) I would venture to say that the Hargreaves scheme had a more sophisticated development of a lot of these elements, especially the sustainability measures (there was a lot of complexity to the wetland/stormwater elements and the interface with the river that didn't show up well in the photos of the boards) while MLA came up with some fun touches (like the choreographed seasonal blooming in the cultural gardens, to which they devoted one of their precious slides [there was some discussion about the limitation on number of slides and in fact that was increased from the original limit of 14.])
of course the MLA layout was more conventionally park-like and I believe I actually remember her invoking the name of Olmsted. and the graphics on MLA's boards were "prettier" (you can see the difference in style from the Hargreaves renderings.)
the verbal presentations (MLA and HA) touched on a lot of the same notes; Mia's a bit uncomfortable as a speaker but in her favor her talk was charged with lots of emotion. The Hargreaves presentation was given largely by Mary Margaret Jones who is very effective in my view, a real spell-binder (we were all slapping her back afterward, telling her she should run for president) who manages to balance very nicely between an emotional and a rational appeal.
but taken all in all, I felt that the MLA package was more of a crowd-pleaser, and that certainly came across in the breakout groups afterward. some people took note of the level of detail in the Hargreaves proposal about the sustainability measures, the connections with elysian park ("fauna bridge" etc.) the phasing plan, etc. but those didn't quite have the emotional grab. (and it was easy to overlook in all the feather-ruffling about the fo plan, but the hargreaves plan also involved quite a bit of reworking of elysian park, that team also having noted the opportunity presented by the proximity of elysian, but without having quite so much readiness to swing the wrecking ball.)
"will the state parks commission buy the fO plan???? "
and anyway, they said at the outset the competition is "not intended to select a design but to select a designer". however, the breakout sessions certainly didn't work that way, as they were all about critiquing the details of the designs themselves, often to the point of being picayune. mixed message there from the state parks people, as they set up and led the discussions to happen in exactly that way.
almost forgot to add:
your handy graphic guide to keeping track of the three designs
Field Operations: oil spill
(I really didn't get enough quality time with the boards to figure out what the BLACK areas on the fo plan were. anybody know?)
he he he- good one NP!!!! the oil spill will certainly get a reaction...
So what did Katie's office actually contribute to the project?
As to Mary Margaret running for pres, maybe- she does have the ego for the post.
Does anyone know if there are any proposals or intentions to build a park along the LA River around the Arts District in the train yard in front of SCI-ARC ? I know that the LA Now studio proposes several urban interventions in that particular area but how about a PARK ?
oh yes, and what a vivid contrast to all those other ego-free beings who got up on that podium!
katie went to the design team meetings and such. a mystery to me what happens at those things. our office did some background research + plant research, and spent a lot of hours in the final weeks/days on the photoshop renderings of the cultural gardens. a lot of the role of local landscape architect on these things, I gather, is the botanical expertise (that seems to be the role of Nancy Powers' office on the fo team too.)
my role, as always: coordination, support, making sure Katie finds her way to all the meetings, and schmoozing. though I had a terrific headache at yesterday's event so wasn't up to my usual level of schmooze. damn but that room was full of the usual suspects. good opening remark from the podium from George H.: "For those of you who aren't designers...and I hope a lot of you aren't..."
publix - The LA River Master Plan has proposed greening/parking the east side of the river near SCIArc, but not the west side. The intensity of the rail tracks on the west bank make it very difficult to open the city to the river (these include the storage/maintanence yards for the Red Line subway), whereas the tracks on the east side are apparently easier to displace. Go to: http://www.lariverrmp.org/CommunityOutreach/workshop_powerpoints.htm and download the September powerpoint for the latest thoughts.
Alan- isn't that a 'temporary' Redline facility? but then, that's the way LA works...
NP- who was presenting on the fO team? Thom and ??? did jim corner actually fly in from NY? Thanks for all the tidbits- great gosip!
I don't think its temporary. Maybe back in the day, when the Red Line was supposed to extend to East LA and the Valley, there was thoughts of building a permanent, bigger facility at the end of the line, but I've never heard any talk of moving the current facility. There are some portions of the site that are not used by the Red Line, and that's where the Michael Maltzan-designed housing is supposed to go.
I missed the presentations, but I do think I saw James Corner in the audience...
thanks nitpicker for the insider wrap and flickr link
Incidentially, the Harvard studios on the LA River also came to the same conclusion re: the east side vs west side rail tracks. They focused on the east bank (which I think would be called the Left Bank if we were Paris...)
Alan: i felt the harvard schemes fell short of addressing the river in any way other than as an "idyllic pastoral wonderland." Many of the schemes assumed the LA river is actually a river, and attempted to develop it in ways similar to millenium park in Chicago, replete with parasol pleasentries and actively-used public space. While i am all for idealism, these schemes assumed that this industrial edge could simply be moved elsewhere in the city, in favor of a happlyland nimby bananaism.
LA river proposals made during the eighties by Ray Kappe, on the other hand, offered the notion of temporary dams that can section off residential-adjacent areas of the river into small lakes. A far-fetched notion, but it had an uncanny practicality that goes beyond presumptions that the LA river is somehow a border condition, which it isn't.
Behind petco park is a grassy knoll used for little league games and impromptu 7th inning stretch pickup games. I agree with Thom Mayne: LA couldn't give two shits about public space, save the 50% of the population that's Hispanic. For anything like this to work in a way that goes beyond a looky-loo garden, it should be augmented by a seconday program like a Dodgers Stadium.
Marlin, I'm not taking a position on the designs that emerged from the Harvard studios, however, I think it is reasonable to assume some of those industrial uses will move. Afterall, both Cornfields and Taylor Yards were active railyards that have since moved, and its apparently expected that Union Pacific will eventually move their multimodal yard near Boyle Heights to another location. Assuming said yard becomes open for development was the basis of the first Harvard studio. Of course, what has not been discussed in any of these scenarios is WHERE those railyards are going, because they don't just disappear - they have all moved to the desert or Inland Empire. Hence revitalizing the LA River is made possible by sprawl... And all the industrial jobs those railyards represent have also moved to the Inland Empire, near Ontairo Airport and Union Pacific's major assembly yard, near all the storage/assembly warehouses that fill semi-trucks up with stuff destined for stores across the US...
agreed, alan. I think what i found most peculiar is the idea that above just the railyards, the harvard schemes asserted tabula rasa-ism, presuming that wherever the industrial core-including the railyards- would move would be someone else's problem, or that industrial cores are blight-in-a-bottle instead of vital and thus should go. Additionally, the Kappe development schemes proposed building in the air rights over the active railyards, which again is uncanny, but still allowed for some of the idealism that presumes trains may become an integral part of LA's public transportation infrastructure.
That in itself is a whole 'nother can of worms straying from the topic of the cornfields.
nice insight, alan. 'preciate the dialogue.
thanks alan for the info...it's for sure hard to do a thesis from NY on the LA River when much of the proposals and information relating to the LA River are unpublished or hard to find.
Another blog/conversation (from the Transit Coalition's discussion boards) regarding the Cornfields competition, with an emaphsis on the fO proposal
actually there has been quite a lot of discussion of these points (esp. whether rail yards move on their own without being forced out) in the LA River Master Plan presentations that I've been to. I know Mark Johnson of Civitas addressed it at some length, which I wouldn't be able to do justice to without finding my notes. He's been at this round of meetings too, since he's on mia's cornfield team.
"happyland nimby bananaism"? jeepers, marlin, and I thought *I* could turn a weird phrase. not exactly sure what your point is, or where you get the notion that any of the schemes were picturing the river as full to the brim and crystal blue and all the rest of it.
and thom mayne wasn't saying screw parkland - he spent quite a bit of time reiterating how much MORE park space would be generated by his scheme - in a trade off with the moving of the stadium and the giving over of part of the former stadium site to the next Playa Vista. (one of the community members in my breakout group: "Leave Dodger Stadium where it is ! it caused enough damage the first time!")
AND they go on to say, that if you consider griffith park as being connected too, then you have 5k of open space and it is the largest urban park of all time ever! for this to work, you have to squint really hard and pretend that griffith park is connected to elysian park. or, perhaps, that baron haussman has arisen from his grave and been equipped with modern demolition equipment.
if you're questioning the whole premise of whether there is to be a park, or whether it is supposed to have x, y and z program elements in it, well, those decisions have already been made. they have had 37! public! meetings! about it already and the program was laid out in the competition RFQ. unless of course one should choose to ignore the program.
forgot to say that there was another aspect of the day's festivities that I missed, since my boss/carpool buddy turned into a pumpkin after the public comment period: there was a Q & A for each team from the panel, with questions set in advance (I saw a copy of the questions, basically it walked through the requirements and asked the respondent to detail how his/her team's design responded to each requirement.) that part WAS open to the public but they were not invited to comment any further. did anyone stay for that part? alan?
because knowing how those interviews went, besides being interesting in its own right, would help in handicapping the race.
and yes, james corner presented with thom mayne. but I heard he left pretty soon after, he sure wasn't there at breakout time. he was NOT there for the intitial quals presentation in August, a young guy from his office presented along with Thom at that one, and he was...um...not the world's most fluid speaker. I think his last name was Kennedy.
OK, I just checked and Christopher Hawthorne's story is now up on the LA Times website. I could be annoying and post the whole URL but if you go towww.calendarlive.com
it's right up front, with the headline "Fielding Dreams."
Marlin...While I agree that the parking plan at Chavez Ravine is abysmal, it is a creation of its time...50 years or so ago. I would support any radical ideas to re-use the space around the stadium, but to demolish the stadium and re-build it elsewhere is completely absurd to me. I am not against radical ideas for the sake of a competition, but a point I would like to make in this case is there are dimensions that are completely ignored in the case of Dodger Stadium...First and foremost, it is an important piece of architecture in baseball and Los Angeles' own history. To simply wipe it off the hill and put it elsewhere is I am sure thrilling to visualize and have a discourse about, but it is completely narrow in its assessment and validity. The Google video hints to parallels of what Robert Moses did in New York...which is valid, but again, that was how development happened back then. People also built with asbestos and smoked like there was no tomorrow. To be critical of it now and use that to legitmate an argument to further a point of "right-ing a wrong", is simply trying to settle an old score.
I also disagree completely with your assessment of Dodger Stadium as a building. During its day, it was progressive design of streamlined modernism with its use of pre-cast concrete to provide unobstructed views for over 55,000 people, let alone how it was dug into the land to maximize views to the hills beyond. If you think Dodger Stadium is brutal, then you should have taken a visit to the old donuts, all-purpose stadiums in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St. Louis...just a starter. To put Dodger Stadium in the same breathe is devoid of understanding of baseball and what Dodger Stadium was and is...a purely privately-financed stadium, by Walter O'Malley...a progressive-minded man that was simply bringing the sport out of the east coast dark ages and to sunny Southern California. He was a business man, yes...but he was dedicated to the sport of baseball first and foremost. He felt the sport deserved to be showcased as valuable civic experience...to be played in a park setting unfettered by the dirty urbanism and density of the city. That is what drove the decision to take the Dodgers to Chavez Ravine. Obviously, people think different today...but I don't think that it was a colossal failure, thus desiring the stadium to go the way of Pruitt-Igoe.
The nostalgia that you seem to have missed on your visits to Dodger Stadium must not be from the experience of actually watching a game there. That experience is what makes watching baseball along side 50,000 people with views of the hills beyond is what makes it unique to baseball, no different than what it is like to be "inside" the ad-hoc additions to Fenway Park, the neighborhood confines of Wrigley Field, or the truly abysmal, but profoundly historic, trash can of Yankee Stadium. Petco Park...nice, pretty stadium, but puh-leese! For being over 50-years old, Dodger Stadium holds it own quite fine compared to the newer stadiums.
Gosh, I hate to take the side of a traditionalist on this. I really am not, as I subscribe to Mayne's views on the urban complexity and differentiation. I am not too aware of Field operations actual discourse, outside of their ability to make landscape appear as a seductive graphic. But my point is simply there is more to Dodger Stadium than an as old concrete stadium high up on hill surrounded by shitty parking. Architects need to quit being art-nerds...Put down the mouse, integrate with the masses, and experience life. An afternoon baseball game at Dodger Stadium is a great start.
nit: "happyland nimby bananaism" was in reference to the harvard schemes, not the cornfield proposals. This refers to the tendency of the Harvard River studio's proposals to replace an industrial core with spring blossoms and bunnies and dirt and suddenly the taxpayers will show up in droves like a sunday in the Grand Jetee, and simultaneously make no suggestion as to how or where the entire swath of industrial core would go, or even that the traintracks they propose to demolish are an integral part of both a civic and nationwide network. Again, nit, that comment referred to the harvard schemes, not the cornfield schemes, so i apologize for the misunderstanding. I liked the cornfield projects, but it's important to keep in mind that the farmland functioned well as public space because the plots had to be tended, manicured and harvested by the community. This made it an attractor.
How well a civic garden can function in LA as an attractor gets a little dicey.
The Hargreaves schemes show the river full of water. It isn't. it's a barren ditch save some of the shallow marshy areas in frogtown near dodger stadium.
bryden: dodger stadium: if it doesn't stand the test of time or function, being innovative in its day scarcely matters. Pruit Igoe housing was considered innovative. Dodger Stadium is a rundown shithole with no public amenities, and no amount of nostalgia or parabolic concrete spans makes that okay. Considering the FO proposal suggested a new stadium, It's okay to be idealistic about innovative stadium design and point out the flaws that have surfaced in the fifty years since the stadium was built. Like you said, "it is a creation of its time...50 years or so ago"
nit: thom mayne said, "LA doesnt care about public space" during his charlie rose interview. And he's right. Griffith park scarcely functions like NY's central park. You can have all the idyllic open space you want, but it won't matter if on the whole it goes unused by the majority of the public. Open space is not an attractor in LA. Sadly or not, LA works this way. It's important to understand why the FO scheme included a stadium instead of purely landscaping it and adding smaller functions: public space in LA needs these kinds of attractors.
additionally, bryden, the presumptuous high horse declarations are unnecessary and inaccurate, like "To put Dodger Stadium in the same breathe is devoid of understanding of baseball and what Dodger Stadium was and is..." and "Architects need to quit being art-nerds...Put down the mouse, integrate with the masses, and experience life. An afternoon baseball game at Dodger Stadium is a great start."
A baseball game is the only socially acceptable excuse to get piss drunk in the middle of the afternoon. vin scully rocks, dodger dogs rock.
Community outreach groups, ugh. "Leave Dodger Stadium where it is! it caused enough damage the first time!" The fact that he screamed it is emblematic of a propensity towards poorly thought-out one liners and talking points that plague city council sessions and outreach meetings. Everyone wants to be a televised revolutionary.
publix: the Harvard LA river studio published their research and proposals around 2000ish. If you can find it, it'll save you hours and hours of demographics and site research.
i don't know much of anything about this competition, the la river, the cornfields, or the industrial land nearby, but i really enjoyed reading this discussion.
when big public projects are proposed this kind of debate should happen every time, imo. gets things out on the table and allows for corrections of some misguided assumptions (that all of us have, whether we admit or not), and educates those who don't yet know all the issues and implications of the project. too bad this is a tiny message board discussion instead of a public one.
i've found that the most big projects get introductory/summary articles in the paper, followed by a flurry of pithy one-liner letters to the editor, and then a lot of uninformed water-cooler conversation in which people talk by each other. the public debate never really quite connects and people seldom get to hear what's at stake or what the opportunities are.
hope la finds a way to make this (sounds like it's impt) big public project the subject of a community conversation even a little bit as meaty as the one above.
The china town community will resist moving dodgers stadium for these basic nimby reasons (articulated at the first cornfields meeting)
now the hard work begins to prove to the neighbors that tolerating these will improve there daily life by having more economic and cultural opportunities by having a ball park as neighbor. But has this ever really been the case? fenway is a dumpy neighborhood, and yankee stadium/et al haven't done much better. Anybody with good casestudies showing that stadiums are a positive influence on the urban fabric?
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