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As Construction Wraps, L.A. Live's Spaces Become More Defined

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, January 14, 2010, at 10:29AM
L.A. Live Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Street lamps from "The Chronicles of Narnia" stand along the edge of the Ritz Carlton tower in what has emerged as a second major open space for the L.A. Live complex.

The morning after L.A. Live's Ritz Carlton tower was officially debuted in a glitzy lighting ceremony, blogdowntown observed AEG CEO Tim Leiweke standing outside Starbucks trying to decide where to have a quick meeting. "It's a big campus now, we've got a lot of options," he said.

Never has that been more true than this week, when construction fencing came down from around the hotel and condo tower, revealing a second large open space for the entertainment complex.

Ever since the first phases of the complex opened, the spaces around the hotel have been narrow corridors branching off of Nokia Plaza. With the fencing removed, though, the triangle between Starbucks, Nokia Theatre and the hotel suddenly becomes a second space on the scale of the plaza area.

The two look to have very different personalities. Where Nokia Plaza is defined by massive LED screens and noise, this second space is far more tranquil. The glass and plantings of the hotel soften the metal of the other two buildings, and a set of ornate street lamps stand in sharp contrast to the modern stylings of the surrounding architecture.

The lamps may even look familiar. They came from the set of "The Chronicles of Narnia," a film franchise produced by the Phillip Anschutz-owned Walden Media. Anschutz, of course, is also the "A" in AEG.

While L.A. Live certainly has its critics -- they complain that the architecture is uninspired and the product garishly over-commercial -- it would be wise to remember that the final product has yet to show its true colors.


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