The project, which is now in its concept design phase, is located within Los Angeles city limits, but is maintained as green space due to a long-term agreement forged by the former Culver City Redevelopment Agency in the late 1980s. Culver City began searching for consultants to lead a potential redevelopment of the site in 2019.
The chosen team - led by landscape architecture firm SWA and consisting of Estolano Advisors, Cumming, LOHA, KPFF, and Toole Design - has developed two conceptual plans for Media Park, both of which are intended to improve pedestrian access and safety, while also adding stormwater capture elements and native planting to the site.
The first concept, called Arc, is inspired in part by the elliptical shape of a film reel - alluding to Culver City's heritage in the movie and television industry. The namesake for the design would be exhibited in the form of a new path, stage, and pop-up cafe cutting through the park. Plans also call for the retention of existing trees and the Ivy Substation - a Pacific Electric Railway artifact which has been repurposed as a performance venue for the Actor's Gang - as well as the addition of a great lawn, swings, and a buffer facing Venice Boulevard to the north.
A slight variation of the Arc alternative could also remove much of an existing parking lot which runs along Culver Boulevard, replacing it with new curbside parking and a vehicle drop-off zone. The reduced parking would allow for a larger lawn and a new public art display at the intersection of Culver and Canfield Avenue.
The second concept, named Roots, is inspired by the Moreton Bay fig trees which call Media Park home. This design would also preserve existing trees, water features, and the Ivy Substation, while adding space for a pop-up cafe, a stage, a great lawn, and an art walk. However, unlike the Arc alternative, the pathway cutting through the site would be built with a meandering route, similar to the tree roots for which it is named.
As with Arc, a reduced parking alternative would also create room for more open space within Roots. In this case, the reclaimed vehicle space would be used for an art display and a pedestrian promenade along the north side of Culver.
Which concept do you prefer? Take the opportunity to let Culver City know by filling out a project survey here. Submissions will be accepted through May 27.
More information on the Media Park renovation is available at the project's official website.
- Culver City Plans Makeover of Media Park (Urbanize LA)