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STREET LEVEL

This park's a little green

June 10, 2007|Charlie Amter

IF you build it, they will come: Located on former rail yards, Los Angeles State Historic Park is surrounded by freeways and warehouses. For a while, it was a giant planted-corn art project called "This Is Not a Cornfield."

Now, the 32-acre site, just north of the Gold Line Chinatown station, is far from finished -- an unpaved dirt road still leads into the center of the park. But that hasn't stopped the nature-starved and the curious from hanging on the grassy fields and concrete picnic benches.

Not too many people have caught on to it, though. "It's never crowded or anything, that's why I love it," said Lincoln Heights resident Alex Felliciano, 36, who was walking his Akita in the park last weekend. That sentiment was echoed by Kip Kipsman, 38, who was flying a radio-controlled model airplane. "I wanted a park where I wouldn't bother a lot of people," he said

The city has big plans for the park over the next four years, including a "series of fountains, gardens and cafes," said San Francisco-based George Hargreaves, whose firm won a design competition for the park.

For now, the park is most crowded in the early evenings, when downtown workers squeeze in a run. On weekends, one can hear crickets.

-- Charlie Amter

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