I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.
– Thomas Jefferson

Calling All Armchair Architects
The Hollywood Central Park Wants Your Design Ideas

HOLLYWOOD—Using an innovative program specially designed for them, the Friends of the Hollywood Central Park (FHCP) today issued a call for designs by debuting its Park Planner-Design Your Own Park page on its website, www.hollywoodcentralpark.org.

The unique, interactive feature allows individuals to create their own version of Hollywood Central Park, a 44-acre street-level park planned for the 1-mile stretch of the Hollywood Freeway (US 101) between Hollywood Boulevard/Bronson Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard/Western Avenue. Offering a wide gamut of possibilities from the large such as multipurpose fields, cafés, dog parks and libraries to the small such as rocks, trees, stones and benches, plus the ability to invent your own park element, the program enables users to situate the features they would like to see in the park at the exact location they desire, orient them as they wish, and write notes to explain their thinking.

Once users have put the finishing touches on their dream park, they are invited to submit their designs to the FHCP board, which will look at all of the proposals with an eye toward incorporating as many ideas as possible into the final design of the park.

“Knowing the level of interest in the community about Hollywood Central Park, we decided the best way to get input on what should be built was give everybody a chance to create their dream park,” said Laurie Goldman, FHCP president. “This is everybody’s park, and everybody should have an opportunity to submit their own ideas. Now they can, and in the process can be involved in creating Hollywood history!”

Reflective of that democratic spirit, the Design Your Own Park tool is sponsored not just by FHCP but also the Central Hollywood, East Hollywood and Hollywood Studio District Neighborhood Councils and the Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation.

City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, the newly elected representative for the 13th District, is impressed by both the new web tool and the cooperative spirit behind it.

“Friends of the Hollywood Central Park continue to embrace community input through the use of cutting edge technology,” said O’Farrell, who chairs the City Council’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging, and LA River Committee. “The new park planner feature on the organization's website allows real-time engagement, as well as visualization of another great public space in Los Angeles.”

In collaboration with Bill Smith of Design Simple, Scott Ford of Twerp Laboratories designed the software for the program. After playing Sim City for hours on end for ideas and investigating whether similar programs existed, Ford decided to build something from scratch just for FHCP.

“This is not a game, but at the same time it has to be a simple way for people to express themselves,” he explained. “I did some research and found the stuff out there was for architecture professionals to design parks and gardens.

“Something incredible is happening in Hollywood just down the street from where I have lived for more than 20 years. It's something that will quite literally build bridges among the diverse communities that we enjoy here,” Ford added. “As a longtime resident, I’m excited to welcome the Hollywood Central Park as my new neighbor. We at Twerp Labs have been thrilled to be involved with the website for the park, especially with the new Park Planner, which creates a fun, interactive environment for people in our neighborhood to share their own ideas.”

The Hollywood Central Park began as an idea more than 28 years ago. In 2006, it progressed from a Hollywood Chamber of Commerce initiative to a Hollywood community coalition and finally to Friends of the Hollywood Central Park, a nonprofit organization. FHCP is dedicated to raising funds to create the park. The Hollywood Central Park is a landmark infrastructure project that will reunite communities separated for more than 60 years by the Hollywood Freeway, create 45,000 jobs, provide economic stimulus and long-term economic security, provide healthy communities and offer children open greenspace in which to grow and thrive.

Work is now underway on an environmental impact report on the park thanks to a generous $1.2 million donation from the Aileen Getty Foundation and $825,000 contributed by the City of Los Angeles. The Draft EIR is projected to be completed and issued for public comment in 2015.

PR Date: 
Monday, July 15, 2013
PDF or Doc version: