BREAKING NEWS: Winner Named in Cornfield Park Competition


Hargreaves Team Wins Cornfield Park Competition
State Parks Department Awards Bid for 32-Acre to San Francisco Firm

by Kathleen Nye Flynn
Staff Writer

Officials with the California State Parks Department on Friday announced that it has selected a team headed by San Francisco-based Hargreaves Associates to design the Los Angeles State Historic Park, the 32-acre site adjacent to Chinatown.

“We can't wait to take it off the page and make it into a real park,” said Mary Margaret Jones, a principal at Hargreaves. “It's an amazing transformative opportunity for Los Angeles.”

The decision follows an eight-month design competition, as well as years of hope for an active use of the site long known as the Cornfield. The contest, orchestrated by the State Parks Department and the State Parks Foundation, drew widespread interest from top architecture firms nationwide. Earlier, a 10-member advisory board whittled down 33 original entries to three finalists.

In the final stage, Hargreaves beat out teams headed by Los Angeles-based Mia Lehrer + Associates, which included architect Michael Lehrer, and Field Operations, a New York firm who brought in prominent architect Thom Mayne.

“It's kind of like trying to chose the best from three virtuoso violinists,” said Ruth Coleman, director of State Parks, who made the ultimate decision based on the advisory committee's recommendation. “We couldn't go wrong, and I am very pleased with the recommendation.”

The Hargreaves team includes Silver Lake-based architect Michael Maltzan, whose Rainbow Apartments recently opened on Skid Row.

Hargreaves' winning State Park concept, presented to the public in October, includes a 15-acre field flanked by a fountain-filled plaza on its southern side and nature-oriented wetlands and gardens that connect to the Los Angeles River on the northern tip. The plan includes providing access to the park with four bridges, two that connect to Broadway, one that soars to Spring Street, and a wide, landscaped bridge that reaches Elysian Park. There, they propose adding new trails, a habitat area and replacing some of the Dodger Stadium parking lots with playing fields.

A priority for Hargreaves is properly programming the park. They have proposed using the site for farmers markets, large concerts and festivals, and other community events.

Hargreaves will work with the Parks Department to create a final design, which could incorporate aspects from the competing proposals that resonated with the public. While the Parks Department has enough funding to pay the team for the blueprints, finding money for the project itself is the next big hurdle.

Contact Kathleen Nye Flynn at [email protected]

Nov 17, 06 6:00 pm

damn- you beat me too it! was going to name an inside source (one of my classmates)...

A shout out to my pals in the SF office!


Nov 17, 06 8:15 pm  · 

its good the parks department can afford 'blueprints'

Nov 17, 06 8:16 pm  · 

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