Grand Park

Los Angeles, CA
United States
Grand Park

Landscape Information

El Paseo de Los Pobladores de Los Angeles; Civic Center Mall


Commemorating the 44 settlers who established the city of Los Angeles in 1781, El Paseo de los Pobladores de Los Angeles (The Walk of the First Settlers of Los Angeles) was dedicated in 1966. Spanning a steep hillside and bordered by thoroughfares and civic buildings, Cornell, Bridgers and Troller began work on the twelve-acre park in 1956. Situated over a subterranean parking deck, the rectilinear Beaux Arts park, also called the Civic Center Mall, was comprised of a sequence of plazas between the Music Center and Grand Avenue to the northwest and Spring Street and City Hall to the southeast.  Hill Street and Broadway bisect the linear alignment of the park. The upper, northern section was designed to frame views across broad terraces planted with groves of trees, ornamented by pools and fountains, and flanked by steps and promenades.  Just below Grand Avenue, the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain with circular pools and arcing water jets set in rectilinear pools animated the upper terrace, which was bordered by palm and olive groves. The lower terrace, flanked by masses of deciduous trees and lawn, was comprised of a central plaza punctuated by flags and statues of George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Spiral ramps on both ends of the rectangular park provided access to the parking deck below.

In 2010 Civic Center Mall, renamed Grand Park, was redesigned by Rios Clemente Hale Studios as the centerpiece of the Grand Avenue Redevelopment Project. The Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain was retooled to include choreographed lighted jets and a spray fountain for children. Pedestrian circulation was improved with the implementation of a diagonal cross axis within the park and the Court of Flags, interplanted with cherry trees, was reoriented to increase its visibility from Broadway.  Diverse plantings of drought-tolerant gardens create vegetated swaths between the central and peripheral pedestrian axes. An event lawn and dog park occupies the lower terrace adjacent to City Hall. Movable fuchsia-colored café tables and chairs provide a bright contrast to the surrounding greenery.