Re-Imagining Silver Lake’s Sunset Junction

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For the naysayers who claim no one ever walks in L.A., a stroll around Sunset Junction in Silver Lake may finally put that myth to rest. The area around the intersection of Sunset and Santa Monica boulevards is the heart of the newly gentrified neighborhood, rife with the signifiers of an upwardly mobile population. Artisanal coffee shop designed by hot local architect? Check. Fancy cheese shop? Check. Gourmet spice store? Check. Insanely good canteen focused on local produce and growers? Check. Gelateria? Check. And that’s just a few of the food options.

There’s also the shopping, the apothecary, the specialty bar accessory shop, and oh yeah, that little music festival held in the streets each summer. And let’s not forget the Black Cat was the site of a peaceful protest against police harassment of the gay population in L.A. more than two years before Stonewall. 

Why the virtual stroll down Silver Lake’s town square? It’s worthwhile to remember the vibrancy of the neighborhood, as well as its multiple uses and diverse population. Why? Because the Silver Lake Neighborhood Coucil and City Council President Eric Garcetti have launched a design competition to re-envision Sunset Junction.

The call for submissions to create a permanent installation and community plaza is part of the $1.5 milion reconstruction plan for Sunset Junction. The budget for the project is $100,000 and encourages designers to use recycled materials. The submission deadline is April 11th, and is asking designers to consider amenities and issues such as bike racks, pedestrian circulation, seating areas, shade trees as well as the design’s relevance to Silver Lake’s history and culture. For more information, check out the submission criteria here.

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