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A Dream Now Off Limits: Angel’s Flight Park

Photo: AHBE Landscape Architects

I had a dream about 15 years ago about creating a beautiful park at the corner of 4th and Hill Street in Los Angeles. Today, this dream has become an embarrassment, completely closed to the public. I designed it. But more importantly I believe it is a shameful reminder of our societal value of nature and open space.

Photo: Calvin Abe

Abandoned, closed, and fenced off for over five years ago, Angel’s Flight Park has been an eyesore and a constant reminder of our forgotten unmaintained parks in the city. Angel’s Flight Park was decommissioned when the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (LA/CRA) was forced to shut down by the Governor’s budget cutbacks caused by the 2008 recession. It was over 15 years ago that the LA/CRA, in partnership with LA Metro, came together to fund the enhancement to an important Bunker Hill subway portal. The plaza was a deliberate urban design move to connect the portal to the historic Angel’s Flight Funicular (also closed due to budget cutbacks). It was also intended to provide a shady respite and offer public open space for the adjacent Grand Central Market visitors and local residents.

Photo: AHBE Landscape Architects

Photo: AHBE Landscape Architects

Maybe there is the possibility of a renewed dream to end this nightmare of the Angel’s Flight Park.