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Nokia Plaza a Bust or Just Not Ready Yet?

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2008, at 09:39AM
Nokia Theatre Ed Fuentes

Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne writes about public squares in this week's Times Magazine, and finishes by declaring LA Live's Nokia Plaza a bust. "So much for South Park's new neighborhood gathering spot," he writes.

After mentioning an email from a resident unhappy about the space's rules against dog walking — could this perhaps be Urban Bruin, whose December Dog Walk ran into AEG security? — Hawthorne makes his judgement upon seeing the plaza space empty on the night of a recent event at Staples.

I happened to arrive on the evening of a pro-wrestling event at Staples Center. A large crowd of fans milled around in front of the arena, waiting for the doors to open, but across the way there wasn't a soul in the attractive and expansive new plaza. Actually, there was one soul: a security guard warily patrolling the space.

Could it be perhaps that people dont occupy space simply for the sake of the space being there? Come back in a year, after the restaurants and bars that open off the plaza open, and see if that space is still empty. I'll gladly agree with criticism of the space and its rules, but to declare it a bust before it even properly opens is a bit absurd.

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