You may not be familiar with Los Angeles State Historic Park, AKA the Cornfield. Downtown residents probably know it best, though it’s also hosted a number of popular music festivals. It is kind of off the beaten path, lying on the outskirts of the downtown area, and it’s only been around since two thousand five.
Unfortunately, if you haven’t made it down there yet, you’re going to have to wait until next year. Plans to expand and improve the site have been on the drawing board for a while, and the state has finally approved the funds. So the park will be closing this month as work begins. Among the changes will be the creation of a wetlands area, the construction of an amphitheatre and the addition of a space for a farmers market.
I actually like the park as it is, a plain, open space with grass and trees. So I decided to take some photos of it before the closure. The park was pretty empty on the day I made it down there, probably in part because the sky was overcast.
The site that the park is on has a pretty interesting history. Community groups fought with a developer who wanted to build warehouses on the land. This article on the KCET web site offers a good deal of information. The designers who created the park’s current state incorporated markers to commemorate some of the groups that have been a part of LA’s history.
Creating the park was a long and difficult process, and there were disagreements among some of the groups involved. This article from the LA Times covers the conceptual art event that re-opened the park, and also details some of the differing points of view.
And for the official story (much less interesting), you can take a look at the state’s web page.