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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and David Zahniser
The push to transform downtown's Grand Avenue into a Champs-Elysees for Los Angeles has faced years of delays and obstacles. The ambitious plan to create a tony cultural destination around the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall has already been scaled back because of the recession. Now, with a key deadline set for Monday, the centerpiece of the Grand Avenue project - two towers offering luxury condos, a hotel, and high-end shops and restaurants - is facing another critical test. In a little-noticed meeting last week, county Supervisor Gloria Molina and other officials unanimously rejected the conceptual plan for the $650-million project, with Molina criticizing the design and saying developer Related Cos. had failed to create an enticing public space that went beyond expensive shops and restaurants.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 14, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Los Angeles County supervisors gave their blessing Tuesday to a reimagined design for a proposed mix of high-end apartments, businesses and public space across from Walt Disney Concert Hall. The $750-million plan to redevelop that portion of downtown's Grand Avenue nearly screeched to a halt in September, when a panel of city and county representatives overseeing the project rejected the design presented by developer Related Cos. Supervisor Gloria Molina criticized the proposal's "boxiness" and lack of appeal to pedestrians, and county Chief Executive William T Fujioka, who also sits on the Grand Avenue Authority, said he was "very, very disappointed" with it. The authority gave Related a four-month extension to return with an acceptable design.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
After rejecting the initial architectural drawings for an ambitious plan to remake downtown's Grand Avenue into a cultural hub, a government panel on Monday unanimously voted to give the developer a nearly four-month extension to create a suitable proposal. The 4-0 vote by the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority was crucial, coming just hours before the authority's agreement with the developer expired, which would have thrown the entire plan into chaos. But the chairwoman of the authority, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who led the criticism of the design last week, warned that the body was tiring of delays.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
Frank Gehry and Related Cos. have kissed and made up. Now we'll see if city and county officials bless the reconciliation. After soliciting plans from other architects in recent months, Related has put Gehry back in charge of the design team for a $650-million retail, hotel and residential complex on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. On Monday the New York-based developer will submit a new proposal by Gehry's firm to the committee overseeing the project. Gehry's design is significantly more exuberant and suggestive of L.A. culture than designs for the site by the firms Gensler and Robert A.M. Stern Architects, which Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, chair of the committee, blasted in September as bland and uninspired.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Architecture Critic
On Wednesday evening I took part in a panel discussion at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Eli Broad, Frank Gehry and Los Angeles Philharmonic President Deborah Borda. We were guests in a live on-stage version of the KCRW radio program “Which Way, L.A.?,” with Warren Olney and Frances Anderton as hosts. The program was planned to mark the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall. But it was also meant to examine the future of Grand Avenue and long-delayed redevelopment plans for Bunker Hill being overseen by a joint city and county committee.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The recent turmoil over the Grand Avenue redevelopment effort leaves a bunch of pretty basic questions unanswered. For starters, who exactly is going to design a planned retail, residential and hotel complex across Grand from Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles? The master plan that the joint city-county committee overseeing the project temporarily rejected last week - before changing course and extending its agreement with developer Related Cos. through Jan. 20 - was designed by the big corporate firm Gensler, with contributions from New York architect Robert A.M. Stern.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 5, 2003
This week, The Times introduces the comic strip "Grand Avenue." It replaces "Shirley and Son," which ended after its creator Jerry Bittle, 53, died of a heart attack while scuba diving. "Grand Avenue" is the creation of Steve Breen, 33, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1998 for editorial cartooning for the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press. The comic strip follows the story of twins being raised by their grandmother.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
After rejecting the initial architectural drawings for an ambitious plan to remake downtown's Grand Avenue into a cultural hub, a government panel unanimously voted Monday to give the developer a nearly four-month extension to create a suitable proposal. The 4-0 vote by the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority was critical, coming hours before the authority's agreement with the developer expired, which would have thrown the plan into chaos. But the chairwoman of the authority, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who led the criticism of the design last week, warned that the body was tiring of delays.
OPINION
August 14, 2005
Last month in Current, Marty Kaplan of USC's Norman Lear Center proposed a "Grand Intervention," asking L.A.'s top urban dreamers and ordinary readers to come up with ideas, drawings and designs for the Grand Avenue Project's proposed 16-acre public space stretching from City Hall to Bunker Hill. They're rolling in (see right). Check out the collective brainstorming and find out how to contribute at latimes.com/current, which links to the Lear Center's Grand Intervention website.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 25, 2006 | Cara Mia DiMassa and Roger Vincent, Times Staff Writers
They have the world-class architect. They have the cutting-edge design. They have the financing. But Eli Broad and the other backers of the Grand Avenue project still face formidable hurdles in creating an upscale 24-hour vibe in downtown Los Angeles. Building Frank Gehry's glass-curtained towers is just the beginning. The developers must lure back the kind of high-end retailers who began abandoning downtown Los Angeles 50 years ago.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Architecture Critic
On Wednesday evening I took part in a panel discussion at Walt Disney Concert Hall with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Eli Broad, Frank Gehry and Los Angeles Philharmonic President Deborah Borda. We were guests in a live on-stage version of the KCRW radio program “Which Way, L.A.?,” with Warren Olney and Frances Anderton as hosts. The program was planned to mark the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall. But it was also meant to examine the future of Grand Avenue and long-delayed redevelopment plans for Bunker Hill being overseen by a joint city and county committee.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 2, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The recent turmoil over the Grand Avenue redevelopment effort leaves a bunch of pretty basic questions unanswered. For starters, who exactly is going to design a planned retail, residential and hotel complex across Grand from Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles? The master plan that the joint city-county committee overseeing the project temporarily rejected last week - before changing course and extending its agreement with developer Related Cos. through Jan. 20 - was designed by the big corporate firm Gensler, with contributions from New York architect Robert A.M. Stern.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
After rejecting the initial architectural drawings for an ambitious plan to remake downtown's Grand Avenue into a cultural hub, a government panel unanimously voted Monday to give the developer a nearly four-month extension to create a suitable proposal. The 4-0 vote by the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority was critical, coming hours before the authority's agreement with the developer expired, which would have thrown the plan into chaos. But the chairwoman of the authority, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who led the criticism of the design last week, warned that the body was tiring of delays.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Seema Mehta
After rejecting the initial architectural drawings for an ambitious plan to remake downtown's Grand Avenue into a cultural hub, a government panel on Monday unanimously voted to give the developer a nearly four-month extension to create a suitable proposal. The 4-0 vote by the Los Angeles Grand Avenue Authority was crucial, coming just hours before the authority's agreement with the developer expired, which would have thrown the entire plan into chaos. But the chairwoman of the authority, Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who led the criticism of the design last week, warned that the body was tiring of delays.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Times Architecture Critic
The chaos surrounding the Grand Avenue redevelopment may turn out to be a good thing - at least for Frank Gehry and quite possibly for the project as a whole. Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and the Grand Avenue Authority surprised developer Related Cos. last week by severely criticizing and temporarily rejecting its plan for a retail complex crowned by hotel, apartment and condo towers. After that vote, it seemed possible, at least in a worst-case-scenario sort of way, that the project might collapse altogether.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2013 | By Seema Mehta and David Zahniser
The push to transform downtown's Grand Avenue into a Champs-Elysees for Los Angeles has faced years of delays and obstacles. The ambitious plan to create a tony cultural destination around the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall has already been scaled back because of the recession. Now, with a key deadline set for Monday, the centerpiece of the Grand Avenue project - two towers offering luxury condos, a hotel, and high-end shops and restaurants - is facing another critical test. In a little-noticed meeting last week, county Supervisor Gloria Molina and other officials unanimously rejected the conceptual plan for the $650-million project, with Molina criticizing the design and saying developer Related Cos. had failed to create an enticing public space that went beyond expensive shops and restaurants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 2010 | By Cara Mia DiMassa
In a city that spent the last century paving over the natural landscape, the idea that a small swath of asphalt might be going green is a bit of an anomaly. But that's what the Community Redevelopment Agency is proposing for a stretch of Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles' South Park neighborhood. The idea is to narrow the street between 9th Street and Olympic by two lanes -- and use the extra land for open space. Reclaiming street space as recreational space is fairly rare in L.A., and it reflects the changes afoot in downtown.
OPINION
July 5, 2004
Re "Finalists Face Off in Grand Ave. Project Bid," June 29: Let's quit fooling ourselves about transforming Grand Avenue into some "grand pedestrian boulevard." Such proposals are destined for failure, for they all must contend with the development patterns of the last 50 years in car-culture Los Angeles, where sidewalks are just an afterthought. Grand Avenue is a perfect example of an L.A. boulevard that has "morphed" over the years from a once pedestrian-friendly downtown into a car-friendly downtown.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2013 | By Bob Pool
They come at night for Gustavo Dudamel. They come during the day for Frank Gehry. Not everyone visiting the Walt Disney Concert Hall during its first decade has been interested in experiencing the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, it seems. "I'm not here for the music. I like the architecture," said Lucian Huxley Smith, a 26-year-old writer from London. FULL COVERAGE: Walt Disney Concert Hall at 10 Smith was with Penni Killick, 25, who works for a London literary agency.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 6, 2013 | By Emily Foxhall
Evacuations remained in place Tuesday for residents threatened by the 1,500-acre Falls fire near Lake Elsinore. Advancing flames from the fire that started Monday morning in the Cleveland National Forest prompted evacuations for Lakeland Village, Decker Canyon and Rancho Capistrano, according to the Incident Information System website . An evacuation perimeter was set up between the intersections of Grand Avenue and Ortega Highway and...
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