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Opening Night Performance in the Arts District

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, October 26, 2007, at 11:56AM
View Ed Fuentes

Last evening was opening night for "Barker Block" and the debut of 'Loft Life,' the smart showcase for the new market rate condominiums on Molina St. On this opening night it really was about the Arts District, as neighborhood groups helped introduce the new units, going beyond the marketing campaign and creating a local affair.

As Kor Group Executive Vice-President Tyson Sayles stated after his welcome to the well attended open house, Barker Block is designed to attract creative professionals and further stabilize the Arts District as a community. The development's industrial minimalist form functions as flexible live/work space, while still providing such amenities as a "state of the art" fitness center enclosed on a roof that adjoins a pool with a view clear to the Los Angeles skyline. Part of the urban design included providing a pocket neighborhood that compliments the small existing center at 3rd and Traction.

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Arte Calidad, who puts on the Festival de la Gente this weekend, had it's paper mache figures networking quietly with guests on the rooftop. Long time Arts District staple, Cornerstone Theater Company, did interactive performance, partly improvised, in the three model units.

Unit 108 was dressed with a 1960s interior. Actors dressed for the period, portraying a cocktail party that had romance, jealousy, boredom, laughter, self-intoxication as the performers mingled with loft explorers. Model unit 408 had a casual group slumming in sleep wear, discussing art theory and hoping to discover inspiration by making a large garden salad, or jamming on a guitar. High above, in what was the more expensive of the three, actors performed a modified version of the existing play "God," showing reflection and rage as roommates in the two level unit decorated by Loft Appeal.

Social competitiveness, creative blocks, and angst. Yup, that's a creative environment. The marketing campaign that Barker Block knows the neighborhood may not be just an act.

Top left: View of Downtown. Top Right: Martini as prop, with performance in background. Middle Left: Interior of Barker Block unit 408. Middle Right: Large crowd mixing. Bottom Left: Cornerstone ensemble as residents. Bottom Left: Kitchen table drama. Photos by EF

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