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An Idea Worth Bringing Back: The Hope Street Promenade

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2007, at 09:10AM
Central Library and Hope Street Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Running through old articles and documents about Downtown you often happen across crazy schemes for radical ways Downtown should be altered. One of my favorite was the decades long push to take all sidewalks off the ground floor and onto elevated pedestrian ways. In a case like that I'm glad it didn't come through. Often, though, there are some good ideas in the bunch.

This morning some reading brought me upon the Hope Street Promenade, a plan originated in the 1980s to narrow Hope street's traffic lanes and create a pedestrian linkage from the library down into South Park. Landscape architect Lawrence Halprin was to design the CRA-funded project, which would have created a roughly half-mile long park.

In a memo found online the CRA described the plan as:

a pedestrian link from Olympic Boulevard on the south to the Los Angeles Central Public Library on the north. The Hope Street Promenade will be a pedestrian-oriented linear park along Hope Street which will feature 30-foot wide sidewalks with landscaping and new trees.

The Promenade is even found in the Central City Community Plan, last updated in 2003.

Given the new life Ralphs has given to the area around 9th and Hope, the Hope Street Promenade seems an idea definitely worth bringing off the shelf and into actual thinking. Given that it's not a through street in either direction, Hope certainly has that quiet pedestrian character to it already.

In other park'ish news: Our contest asking where you would put play space Downtown (and part two) ended yesterday and I just did the drawing to see who won shoes. We're contacting the winners and then will be announcing them here soon.


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