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DOWNTOWN : Festival to Open Grand Hope Park

June 06, 1993|IRIS YOKOI

The long-awaited Grand Hope Park, the first new park in Downtown since Pershing Square was completed in 1870, will open Saturday after 13 years of planning.

A festival beginning at 10 a.m. will celebrate the opening of the 2.5-acre park at Ninth and Hope streets. Mayor Tom Bradley will lead a dedication ceremony at 2:30 p.m., and circus acts, musical performances, games, crafts and art exhibits are planned throughout the day.

City officials said the park will be a permanent art showcase with features such as a 53-foot clock tower that will mark each hour with melodies written by local composers, a fountain shaped like a coiled snake, and a children's section decorated with a wall of hand-painted tiles depicting a line of marching ants.

The site was designed by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, who also created San Francisco's Ghirardelli Square. A number of other artists created works for the park.

The park has been promoted as the open space that will bring the urban residential community of South Park together. South Park, a 50-block redevelopment area bordered by 8th and Main streets and the Harbor and Santa Monica freeways, includes apartment and office towers, restaurants and shopping areas.

The Community Redevelopment Agency began planning for Grand Hope Park in 1980 and provided $20.3 million to purchase and build the park.

A group of neighboring property owners and developers will maintain park security. In an agreement with the city, the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, Sumitomo Construction of America and Forest City Two Inc. will each pay $50,000 annually for a 24-hour security system.

R & T Development Co., which built an office tower at 801 S. Figueroa St., also will pitch in $20,000 a year for park security as part of its development agreement with the city. The Community Redevelopment Agency is providing the remaining $100,000 until more developers come into South Park, according to agency project manager David Riccitiello.

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