Situated in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, Central Avenue Art Park establishes a new cultural arts precinct at the intersection of several of the city’s oldest and most historically significant districts.


Bordered by Temple, Alameda, and Judge John Aiso streets, what is currently city-owned parking is surrounded by a diverse collection of institutions and businesses including the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Japanese American National Museum, the proposed Go For Broke National Education Center, Union Center for the Arts, and First Street Businesses. Within the site the Go For Broke Monument commemorates the heroism and sacrifice of Nisei soldiers who served overseas during World War II. The Central Avenue Art Park Master Plan envisions a new public space that will embrace and connect the many constituencies whom it will serve, provide highly desirable green space in a series of interconnected outdoor art, performance, and recreational spaces, and create a newfound sense of civic place and pride within the immediate community and larger urban setting.


Visitors to the Park enter along ramps from street level or from below via stairs or elevator from the lower level. Movement into the Park from the city is conceived as a passage through a transitional threshold. Ramps and stairs establish an intermediary moment in which the immediate memory of the city and the car is pushed to the horizon as the unfolding panorama of the Park comes into full view. The outstretched petals rise into the distance, creating a sense of groundedness against the backdrop of downtown Los Angeles. The sloping surfaces are also intended as seating areas for performances and other events. The Park’s flexible design provides a welcoming open space that supports a wide variety of activities.


Art Park in form and intent is the result of a reaching out to, and a connecting with, the many institutions and communities which surround it. Through its embrace of the unique urban context in which it is situated, the Park becomes a kind of refractive prism rendering more vivid the cultural complexity of Los Angeles. Art Park invites multiplicity and cross-connection. In so doing, it becomes a park for the Little Tokyo, Arts District, and downtown Los Angeles communities, for the Japanese American community and the greater Los Angeles community, for the contemplation of an honorable history and the celebration of resurgent urban core.

LOCATION / Los Angeles, California
TYPE / Public Park and expansion to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
SIZE / 12 Acres
ROLE / Programming & Master Planning