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Opening of Downtown's Grand Park set for the end of July

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at 10:01AM
Alice Walton

The new Grand Park is expected to open at the end of July.

Downtown's Grand Park, which will connect the Music Center to City Hall and include a fountain, blocks of green space and a community terrace, is set to open at the end of July, officials say.

Councilwoman Jan Perry says the July opening (as opposed to the original projected date of June) is to allow time for the landscaping to "establish itself"; giving the plants and foliage time to grow a little before its open to the public.

"As long as I worked on this I'm still in awe of the fact that it's finally getting done," said Perry, who first began working on the project in 2003, preceding its official announcement in 2007 and the official start of construction in 2010.

The expansive project spans approximately 12 acres between Temple and First streets and Grand Avenue and Spring Street. Only two blocks of the park will be open this month; the space between Grand Avenue and Hill Street will open with a civic dedication ceremony on Thursday, July 26, followed by a public inaugural event on Saturday, July 28.

According to a press release, the public event coincides with National Dance Day and will include free dance classes, a performance by "Iris" from Cirque du Soleil and a ribbon cutting at the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain.

"This festive series of events marks the beginning of a new chapter for downtown, which now has a wonderful place where all in the County can gather, celebrate, share experiences with each other and enjoy entertainment in a beautiful setting,” said L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina in a statement.

The $56 million park project will include a dog run, public restrooms, and open spaces that can be used for outdoor performances or farmers markets.

The park's fountain alone underwent a $5.2 million makeover supervised by the L.A. Conservancy, and the finished renovations include a 6,200-square-foot pool that visitors can wade in as well, as a dark granite bottom that according to supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, produces reflections off surrounding buildings.

"The park is going to create new opportunities for people to gather for culture, arts and just get to know each other," Perry said Tuesday.

Grand Park is one of the first portions completed of the $3 billion Grand Avenue Project that includes new retail stores, a high-end hotel and condos.

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