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Bond Measure Earmarks Funds for Area Parks

May 30, 1991|DOUG SMITH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The northeast Los Angeles area, with its many regional attractions, would receive a major portion of a $298-million bond issue that voters will be asked to approve June 4.

If the measure receives the approval of two-thirds of the voters, almost $90 million would be channeled into maintenance and improvements of recreation areas in Griffith Park and Elysian Park, and cultural facilities in Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles city officials said.

The measure is the first city park bond put on the ballot since voters rejected a 1971 measure, said Frank Catania, director of planning and development for the Recreation and Parks Department. The last successful bond measure was in 1957, Catania said.

The owner of the average home would pay $13.20 a year if the measure is approved.

The funds would allow for the completion over the next seven to 10 years of major improvements and overdue maintenance called for in new master plans recently adopted, or in progress, for heavily used facilities of Griffith Park.

"It would really give it a tremendous boost as it nears its 100th anniversary in 1996," said Tom LaBonge, field deputy for Los Angeles City Council President John Ferraro, who wrote the motion placing the bond on the ballot.

Most costly among the projects would be a $49.6-million redevelopment of the Los Angeles Zoo and a $24.9-million refurbishing of the Griffith Observatory.

In addition, a portion of $1 million set aside for trails would be used for a longstanding plan to extend a trail from Griffith Park to Elysian Park, Catania said.

Other major items would be $3.5 million for improvements to Elysian Park and $2.8 million for overdue maintenance of Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park and lesser amounts for other improvements there.

Of more local significance, the bond would pay for the purchase of about a 4.5-acre neighborhood park in Los Feliz and the enlargement of Silver Lake Park.

An additional $7.5 million would be set aside to replace the Los Feliz Performing Arts Theatre, destroyed by fire in 1987. That facility, however, would not be rebuilt on its original site on Riverside Drive. The Cultural Affairs Department, which operated the theater, has decided to move it farther from the municipal theater at nearby Barnsdall Park, Catania said.

The former theater site, now vacant, will be incorporated into the adjacent parkland east of Los Feliz Boulevard, Catania said. An auxiliary prop and costume building that survived the fire will remain under the Cultural Affairs Department.

Bond Funding

Following is a list of all items in the northeast Los Angeles area that would be funded by the bond:

Regional

* Elysian Park: $3.5 million; major outdoor development and improvements to include the Grandview Hill area east of the Pasadena Freeway, greenbelt sections, north-central park area, Simmons Lodge pond and stream improvements, and an information kiosk near Stadium Way.

* Griffith Observatory: $24.9 million; restoration, improvement and enlargement of the 55-year-old observatory structure in accordance with a recently completed master plan. Funds would be used to rehabilitate the existing structure, reconfigure the planetarium theater, and provide additional subterranean exhibit and classroom space.

* Griffith Park: $950,000; second-phase development of the Riverdale soccer facility to include lighting, additional parking and an office-restroom-dressing room structure.

* Los Angeles Zoo: $49.6 million; redevelopment of the 25-year-old zoo facility in accordance with a master plan now being prepared. Improvements would include new utilities, roadways, paths and drainage systems. Also proposed is a revised tram system. Funds would also be used for a new major exhibit.

* Travel Town: $1.75 million; construction of a new museum building to be used for the display of railroad-related exhibits in accordance with an existing master plan.

* Barnsdall Arts Center: $675,000; building renovations to include a new roof and development of office space for Cultural Affairs Department staff.

* Barnsdall Park: $3.14 million; park improvements to include an automated irrigation system, additional landscaping, improved parking, park lighting, children's play area, sculpture garden, cafe bookstore, gift shop and entrance kiosk.

* Hollyhock House: $2.78 million; major renovation and reconstruction of a historic structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, to include interior reconstruction and restoration, fencing, alarm system, temperature-humidity control system and restoration of the carriage house.

* Junior Arts Center (Barnsdall Park): $600,000; building improvements to add classrooms, gallery space and display facilities.

* Municipal Art Gallery (Barnsdall Park): $345,000; building renovations to include handicap accessibility, better lighting, balcony enclosure, new conference room and stairway.

Community

* Barnsdall Park: $500,000; park renovation to include irrigation system replacement and landscape improvements, including possible child play area.

* Hillhurst-Franklin Area Recreation Center: $3.5 million; acquisition and development of a neighborhood park facility in an area of the city deficient in parkland. The funds would allow purchase of about 4.5 acres from the Los Feliz Hills School north of the ABC television center.

* Silver Lake Recreation Center: $1 million; acquisition of property and redevelopment of outdoor recreational facilities. Replacement of existing recreation building is already funded. The new funds would allow purchase of adjacent land.

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