Spring Street Park opens today; city officials announce more DTLA open space
The new park includes a colorful playground for toddlers.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The 0.7-acre Spring Street Park opened on Monday to an audience of city officials and Downtowners who took in the space's grassy lawn, walking paths and trickling water feature.
The park, located between 4th and 5th streets, also includes a playground for toddlers and plenty of seating. At Monday's ribbon-cutting, there were already plenty of neighborhood dogs making themselves at home in the new park.
Uli Nasibova lives next door and was at the grand opening with her pup. She said that although she's excited about the green space, she's going to keep her dog off the lawn to preserve it for human use.
"Its going to add a much-needed green space to this block and there are a lot of people Downtown who like lounging," said Nasibova. "A lot of people work from home and they need a place to go to with their laptop and just do work."
Area Councilman José Huizar said in addition to the basic maintenance the park will receive through the city, he hopes to raise some additional money from the private sector. This funding could go towards installing more trash cans, having more frequent cleanings or putting on special events or performances in this Spring Street space.
Huizar said Spring Street Park — and all of Downtown's green space — will help make the neighborhood more livable, now and in the long run.
"Livable means that you need a place to go stroll," he said. "Some green space, some open space, a place you can go with your kids or your dogs, a place that you really feel like you're in a neighborhood."
Spring Street Park is the 16th park to open as part of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 50 Parks Initiative, which aims to turn "underutilized properties" into neighborhood parks throughout the city.
"You look around here you see the park in the foreground you see the beautiful buildings around here, it wasn't too long ago this was a parking lot," said architect Michael B. Lehrer, whose firm designed the new park. "This was a sad place and now it's a happy place."
Lehrer said some of the most notable features of the park include the 60 seats that circle the park, as well as the water fountain located in the corner, which you are able to hear and enjoy from the sidewalk even when the park is closed.
At the opening of Spring Street Park, Villaraigosa announced plans for another new DTLA park. The City of L.A. has purchased a nearly two-acre plot of land on 1st and Broadway that has been vacant since 1976 when the building there was demolished after earthquake damage.
The City bought what will become the Civic Center Park from the State of California for $7.5 million. The funds came from multiple sources, including Quimby fees and the Department of Recreation and Parks capital park development funds.
City officials say development of Civic Center Park will happen in phases, starting with hazardous abatement and the relocation of dozens of stray cats that have made the site their home.