Saturday, August 1, 2015

Architecture & Urban Design

Jensen’s meets Jetsons

modern chandelier at Jensen's Recreation Center 6-1-2015 1-54-13 PM

ECHO PARK - A new, space-age-like chandelier now hangs over the lobby of the historic Jensen's Recreation Center on Sunset Boulevard. The new chandelier may not reflect the brick building's vintage style but it certainly does make for a fancy entrance.

East L.A. takes back the streets with parklets

Whittier Boulevard Parklet | L.A. County Dept. of Public Works

EAST LOS ANGELES -- Parklets - those slivers of public spaces that are turned into micro plazas and gathering spots - have arrived in East Los Angeles. On Wednesday, county officials, including County Supervisor Hilda Solis, gathered on Mednik Avenue outside a burger place to dedicate one of three parklets, which in this case resemble a backyard deck complete with seats, table and potted plants.

Highland Park gives Starbucks store a second shot

Remodeled Highland Park Starbucks 3-10-2015 3-55-14 AM

HIGHLAND PARK -- After Monica Alcaraz visited the neighborhood's newly opened Starbucks last summer, she left disappointed from the rather bare bones store. "It was not what I thought we were going to get," said Alcaraz of the York Boulevard outlet that was soon derided as the "most depressing Starbucks in America." But on Tuesday, Alcaraz, who is president of the neighborhood council, was back at the Highland Park store after it was remodeled in response to criticism. "It's a huge difference," said Alcaraz.

Silver Lake still waiting for its saddle sculpture


SILVER LAKE -- City officials on broke ground this week on a $1.75 million Sunset Junction street improvement project that will repair broken curbs and sidewalks and add bump outs and bike racks. But what about that $125,000 public sculpture shaped like a saddle?

Echo Park’s Blackbirds development living up to its name


ECHO PARK -- No mossy green or pastel peach for the Blackbird project. Painters have begun to spray on a coat of black paint on the townhouses that are expected to go on sale soon. But that black paint is not your common shade of black. It's a custom color designed by project architect Barbara Bestor, said developer Casey Lynch.

Makeover to begin soon for Highland Park’s “depressing” Starbucks

HIGHLAND PARK -- The neighborhood's first Starbucks - aka "The Most Depressing Starbucks in America" - is finally going to start seeing some of the changes the coffee store chain promised last summer after the outlet's design met with heavy criticism. Some residents have expressed their impatience by the lack of change at the York Boulevard outlet, a former hamburger stand that was converted into a drive-thru Starbucks last summer.

Polka dots are back in fashion in Silver Lake

The polka dots return | Photo by Patrick Pascal

SILVER LAKE — Workers began painting the polka dot pattern across Sunset Triangle Plaza – aka Polka Dot Plaza – this week after after the dots went missing last April as part of repairs to the pavement at the pedestrian plaza. Patrick Pascal took photos of ... Read More »

Can a “freeway cap” make Belvedere Park whole again?


East Los Angeles – A large chunk of Belvedere Park was lost and the park cut in two when the 60 (Pomona) Freeway was built more than 50 years ago. Echo Park was also chopped in two by a freeway, the 101, and the 5 Freeway looms over a section of Hollenbeck Park Lake. How to undo this damage? In the case of Belevedere Park, the idea of building a “freeway cap” to help reconnect the northern and southern portions of the park has been floated in a county planning document called the East L.A. 3rd Street Specific Plan. Read More »