Grand Park is a 12-acre (4.9 ha) park located in the civic center of Los Angeles, California. First developed in 1966 as the 'Civic Center Mall' with plazas, fountains and a Court of Flags, it is now a part of the larger redevelopment known as the Grand Avenue Project, with its first phase having opened in July 2012. Grand Park is part of a joint venture by the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County. It was designed and built by the Los-Angeles-based multidisciplinary design firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios. Park programming and entertainment, security and upkeep are maintained by the nearby Los Angeles Music Center.
|Location||Civic Center, Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Area||12 acres (4.9 ha)|
|Operated by||Los Angeles Music Center|
|Status||Open all year|
Grand Park stretches between the Los Angeles City Hall and the Los Angeles Music Center on Grand Avenue. It is designed to be pedestrian friendly and connects Bunker Hill to the civic center. The park plans include tree-shaded sidewalks, drought-tolerant plants, an interactive fountain plaza, performance lawns and courtyards, plenty of street lights, movable park furniture, and kiosks to encourage the walking and exploration of the area. City officials and some visitors have compared Grand Park to other well-established urban parks such as New York's Central Park or San Francisco's Union Square.
First proposed as a park by landscape architect Charles Mulford Robinson in 1907 inspired by the City Beautiful movement, but was never developed. After years of proposing the clustering of Los Angeles County government buildings in one place, the county and city finally accomplished that goal with a centralized park in 1957. The park was completed as "Civic Center Mall" in 1966.
Re-development of Grand Park began in 2010 at a cost of $56 million. $50 million provided by Related Companies, the developer planning the nearby Grand Avenue Project. The parks later phase includes a Frank Gehry-designed mixed-use development. Due to the Great Recession in the early 2010s, the development was pushed back, commencing construction in 2019. Other phases of the project remained stalled, but the park and grand avenue project moved forward thanks to a special agreement between the joint powers authority overseeing the project and its developer.
The Los Angeles Music Center's contract to operate Grand Park is expected to run until mid-2017; in addition, it earns in rents and fees charged to concessionaires and others. Routine security is provided by the Music Center's security department, and law enforcement services by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. In 2014, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved funding of $1 million for an independent nonprofit group, the Grand Park Foundation.
By virtue of the mostly sunny weather, the park also features programs year-round. In 2012, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors allocated $3.3 million for the first year's operations, mainly to cover logistics such as security and maintenance, with $100,000 for programming. Events will be coordinated by the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County, which also oversees the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The inaugural event featured Bandaloop, a professed vertical dance company of aerialists, performing against the backdrop of Los Angeles City Hall. During the first six months, Grand Park hosted about 40 events. Some were bids for a mass audience, while others aimed to grab passers-by.
The Community Terrace features a large picnic table and lawn area for gatherings and viewing visuals projected on nearby wall of the Hall of Records. Open lawn space can be used for major public events such as New Year's Eve celebrations and festivals.
Direct access to the park is available on the Los Angeles Metro B Line and D Line at the Civic Center/Grand Park station. The park is also accessible via the Silver Line's 1st Street/Hill Street stop or its Spring Street/City Hall stop. Several local, rapid and express Metro bus routes also share the same 1st Street/Hill Street stop at the civic center.
The park is host to the United States' "west coast flagship" New Year's Eve celebration. Los Angeles' first free major public New Year's celebration, shortened to "N.Y.E.L.A.". The first edition was held December 31, 2013 – January 1, 2014. The first event, which included food trucks, art installations, light shows, concert stages, drew an estimated 25,000 spectators.
Every year since, at 11:55 p.m., a light projection show is displayed onto the side of Los Angeles City Hall and other municipal buildings, displaying visual art before ultimately counting down to midnight with the crowd. The art is in collaboration with The LA Music Center. It is intended to become an annual celebration, with the hope that it would rival other major cities' festivities in years to come. So much so they added fireworks in 2015-16 celebration. By the sixth annual (2018–19) event, Grand Park + The Music Center's N.Y.E.L.A. drew over 50,000 guests. Doubling its inaugural event attendance. Aloe Blacc was the featured artist in 2018–19.
The music video for "Play That Song" by Train was partly filmed in front of the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain, as was the 2003 Miller Lite commercials "Catfight" and the films Pretty Woman and 500 Days of Summer.
Gallery of images of Civic Center Mall from the Historic American Buildings SurveyEdit
Memorials, markers and statuaryEdit
Christopher Columbus statue (removed) 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Grand Park.|
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- Hawthorne, Christopher (2012-07-24). "Downtown's Grand Park makes exuberant use of a tough spot: Review". latimes.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-26.
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- Jennifer Medina (August 18, 2012), "Los Angeles Puts a New Park at Its Heart". The New York Times.
- David Ng (June 27, 2012), Downtown L.A.'s Grand Park readies for July 28 partial opening Los Angeles Times.
- Peter Slatin (November 27, 2012), Simple Start of a Bold Vision for Downtown Los Angeles New York Times.
- Mike Boehm (June 25, 2014), Supervisor Molina starts new foundation to oversee Grand Park Los Angeles Times.
- Jennifer Medina (August 18, 2012), Los Angeles Puts a New Park at Its Heart New York Times.
- Mike Boehm (December 29, 2012), Grand Park holds grand potential for Music Center Los Angeles Times.
- "Go Metro to Grand Park". www.metro.net. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
- "West Coast's Flagship New Year's Eve Celebration Planned in Grand Park". Dec 31, 2018.
- Saillant, Catherine; Schaefer, Samantha (January 1, 2014). "Grand Park New Year's Eve bash called a success". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- "Grand Park's 2019 New Year celebration attended by thousands in DTLA". Daily News. 2019-01-01. Retrieved 2019-02-23.
- "New Year's Eve, Los Angeles. Countdown to 2021. Grand Park + The Music Center". nyela.grandparkla.org.
- Boxall, Bettina. "Memorial to Armenian genocide unveiled in L.A.'s Grand Park." Los Angeles Times. September 17, 2016. Retrieved on September 19, 2016.
- "Grand Park". facebook.com.
- "The "Pretty Woman"/"(500) Days of Summer" Fountain and Park". iamnotastalker.com. Apr 16, 2010. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
- Karapetyan, Araksya (22 September 2019). "Thousands gathered in downtown L.A. as Armenian Prime Minister holds rally". foxla.com. KTTV. Archived from the original on 24 September 2019.
- Kucera, Joshua (23 September 2019). "Pashinyan takes "Velvet Revolution" on the road to L.A." EurasiaNet. Archived from the original on 24 September 2019.
- "Stage 2 - Governance, Legal and Venue Funding" (PDF). la24-prod.s3.amazonaws.com. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
- "Joint Statement Regarding the Christopher Columbus Statue in Grand Park". LA County Arts Commission. 2018-10-03. Retrieved 2019-02-23.