Santa Monica’s Park Plan By High Line Architects Approved

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Behold – the newly approved plan for Santa Monica’s planned seven-acre public park near City Hall. Designed by James Corner’s Field Operations, the same firm behind New York’s fabulous High Line, the Palisades Garden Walk, as the park has been dubbed, was approved last week by the City Council.

According to the Santa Monica Mirror, Corner’s presentation last week was followed by a “lovefest of public comment,” resulting in city approval for the $46.1 million park. With one caveat – the council asked for alterations to the portion of the park that redevelops the landmarked lawn of city hall.

Corner seems to agree that the Town Square section could use some more work: “It’s a good, competent … design, but its not great, it’s not fresh, it’s maybe too open, it’s not so well linked to the park on the other side [of Main Street],” Corner reportedly said. He also welcomed guidance from the council on future iterations. With that area now landmarked, Corner seems to be constrained by prohibitions to alterations on the site.

Despite the lackluster reaction to the Town Square, Corner and his compatriots received a much warmer reaction to the rest of the design. The park plans to feature four distinct hills (known as the Garden, Discovery, Gathering and Grand), native grass and plantings, perennials, overlooks with panoramic vistas, and two water features. There are also plans for several bays “carved into the rolling topography.” The park is expected to be completed in 2013.

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