Silver Lake Saddle being retooled

It’s been about five months since a saddle-shaped  steel structure  was selected to serve as the focus of a new public plaza at Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction. Since then, the winning designers from the firm All That is Solid and city engineers  have been hammering out a final design for the $100,000 entry,which is to anchor the western-end of $1.5-million worth street improvements along Sunset Boulevard, a project that was supposed to have begun this fall. But so far city officials and the design firm have yet to release images of the redesigned saddle, and the entire street project has also been delayed.

While the designers have already come up with a modified saddle, officials want to hold off presenting the plans until the project is finalized.

“The design of the project has been reviewed and is going through some revisions,” said a spokesman for the Bureau of Street Services. “Additional details are being worked out before work begins, but the project is moving forward.”

The winning entry, which provides shade and space in its center for a grassy knoll and meeting area,  would be located at the intersection of Santa Monica and Sunset Boulevard on what is now a triangular piece of asphalt next to the Silver Lake Jiffy Lube.

Meanwhile, all the additional time devoted to the design competition and other factors have delayed the street improvements – which include new bike racks, landscaping and decorative street crossings – until next year. Julie Wong, spokeswoman for Councilman Eric Garcetti, said the street improvement project is now scheduled to begin next spring.

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  1. The retail shops shown in the right side of the picture have been demolished, No longer there.

  2. I think they are trying to make Silverlake too gentrified and thus losing it’s charm.

  3. @neon out of curiosity – would you rather have that triangle stay as it is now? i’m all keeping silver lake’s charm (i was really bummed when those cute little shops were torn down), but if beautifying a hideous piece of asphalt is gentrification – bring it on.

  4. There is nothing gentrified about a huge, rusty, metal saddle…you blooming idiot.

  5. Is it really worth $1.5 million to do this?

  6. random big shape will be revised to a less expensive random big shape

  7. Ummm..hate to break the news Neon but Silver Lake has been gentrified for quite some time now.

  8. Michael has it right: this entire project is hugely overpriced. A few bike racks, some saplings, and some curb work at the corner: $1.4 million (and $100,000 for the saddle). How can it possible cost $1.4 million for that little bit of work?!

    No wonder we are cutting ambulance service, seriously raising utility prices, starting yet more “fees” on renters for trash pickup, and keep being told there is no money to do something needed.

    Why is Eric Garcetti allowing us to have so little for so much money?! If this is how he allows money to be spent on projects in his district, is this how he wants to run the city as mayor?!

    Let the project go — but at maybe no more than $200,000, including the saddle!

  9. Was at City Hall recently and went by the new LAPD HQ. There’s actually some ambitious landscaping — especially in the courtyard on the north side. Ribbons of colorful, drought tolerant plants — kind of like the large garden that’s been planted at Millennium Park in Chicago. But there are weeds throughout. Wonder if the City has the resources to maintain anything that grows.

  10. With that thing and the new condos they’re going to build that’s going to be one hideous corner.

  11. This project is part of a renovation of the entire triangle to create a Metro transit hub. That’s the real story and the reason for the cost. This is the public art portion of the project, which has already gone through several revisions to lower the cost and meet a variety of needs and concerns.

    No doubt there will be some who think that a Jiffy Lube is a more valuable cultural monument, since it is America’s Favorite Oil Change. But for those who can see a transit-friendly space with bike features, shade structures, planted public space and a significant piece of public art, there is something positive that can be created in this town of naysayers.

  12. @ Land Snark. The $1.5 million is just to cover the street improvements and the small plaza and artwork/monument at Sunset Junction. An additional $3.7 million has been budgeted for the second phase of the project that includes the transit hub. Those funds, however, won’t be available for a few more years. Here’s a link with more details: http://www.theeastsiderla.com/?p=19785

  13. Will all that money the city could buy back that land from the developer who tore down the historic buildings, straighten out the intersection where SM hits Sunset, annex that triangle into the now vacant lot and turn the whole thing into a good-sized park people could use, not one in the middle of a very busy street. Just an idea!

  14. at least the first phase if not the second phase have nothing to do with the jiffy lube. that stays

  15. The transit plaza proposal is a horror in the making. It will only interfere with the free flow of both buses and cars. And NOW is the time for all to be speaking out about this before it gets so far along that it is just unstoppable.

    For one thing, to call it a “hub” is fantasy thinking. There are only a couple routes from this area; a hub requires routes to everywhere! Calling it a hub is just a marketing tool to sell the idea not on its merit but on fantasy. Hubs are only hubs when a large multitude of different routes are all converging at one area, such as the transit hub outside LAX or the ones at the North Hollywood and Universal Studio Red Line stations. That is not and cannot be the situation here. We are not a place everyone from all over is trying to get to, nor do we have 20+ different major streets all around here for routes. A hub is because you can’t have all those different bus routes and the resultant transfers on the street.

    Meanwhile, jamming the buses that go through this area onto that spot will only slow the trip — a pretty stupid thing to do if you want to attract more people to ride the bus. Now, they merely stop at the corner for pickup or drop off, and then continue along quickly — only if someone needs to be picked up or dropped off. This plan would have them go to the trouble of pulling off the street, whether anyone needed to get off or on there or not, and go to the stop at the”hub.” Only after that could then they pull back onto the street and continue. This will be a HUGE disaster of traffic interference for all on the street with Sunset buses going left and right back and forth across Sunset.

    In addition, there isn’t going to be some big, beautiful, comfortable building there for bus riders to languish in, as the descriptions would have you dream. Any shelters will be no more than often is found on street curbs now, if for no other reason than just because there will not be acres and acres of space for all that. Besides, NO transit hub anywhere around here has anything more than one of those little subway shelters, if even that much; many have no shelter.

    Meanwhile, it would eliminate the stretch of Santa Monica from Manzanita to Sunset — the very stretch that makes the merger of the two boulevards smooth. Instead, it will require Santa Monica traffic to first stop and then turn left on Manzanita, dodge all the buses making impossible turns into this disaster of a “hub,” stop at Sunset and make the right turn at Sunset. Now, how is that more DESIRABLE than just going straight through and a smooth merger into Sunset as it is now?!

    Not to mention that buses always pulling in and being parked at that spot is not going to beautiful the area. Quite the Contrary, it will uglify the area.

    Now is the time for people to jump up and speak out against this horror and boondoggle. The farther planning proceeds, the harder it is going to be to stop it.

  16. OK OK it’s not a “transit HUB,” it’s a “transit PLAZA.” So maybe we can take a pill and chillllll a littllle. The proposal is about creating public space in a triangle that will help build a more transit-friendly, pedestrian and bike friendly environment. The poverty of public space in Los Angeles is so endemic that it drives many into a state of panic. In virtually any other so-called civilized city, it would be welcomed, and once it’s completed, it will be viewed as a positive contribution to a neighborhood that is finally achieving a vitality that had deteriorated greatly over recent decades.

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