If you have been visiting the sights of downtown Los Angeles, or you want to take in a concert or other performance in DTLA then head on over to Grand Park. The twelve acre park was once the Civic Center and stretches between the Los Angeles City Hall on Spring Street at the east and the Los Angeles Music Center on Grand Avenue at the west.
The park has been criticized because it is broken up into thirds by city streets crossing the park. However, I would find it much more objectionable had the flow of traffic in LA’s crowded downtown was interrupted. The street crossings break the park into sections that each serve unique functions.
The park provides a convenient space for resting and getting some personal space, picnic lunches and a host of cultural events. These range from projecting art on the buildings at nights, to summer concerts in the park and other performances and events.
I particularly love the west end where the Arthur J Will Memorial Fountain is located. This beautiful, restored historic fountain contains a “splash pad” where you can kick off your shoes and run through the water like a child. At night it is beautifully lit. While it was once a “dancing fountain” such as the famed fountain at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, it is currently set in “static mode” and no longer dances. Hopefully that will be remedied soon. As a note, the fountain actually uses only 20 gallons of water per year!
Events at the park are coordinated by the Los Angeles Music Center, which also oversees the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Routine security is provided by the Music Center’s security department, and law enforcement services by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In 2014, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved funding of $1 million for an independent nonprofit group, the Grand Park Foundation.
Nothing is much more fun on a summer night than an outdoor concert in the city. The Music Center recently released park’s Days of Summer schedule for free concerts, events, art shows and block parties in the park. For more information, see the Grand Park Event Calendar.
Pubic transportation to the park is available on the Los Angeles Metro Red Line and Purple Line at the Civic Center/Grand Park station and the Silver Line’s 1st Street/Hill Street stop or its Spring Street/City Hall stop. Parking is available in Lot 10 with entrances on Broadway and Hill Street between First and Temple Streets (in the middle of the park). Parking in this lot is $3.50 per 15 minutes, or $20.00 maximum per day, and $10.00 per day for weekends, evenings and special events. Parking is also available in Lot 17 at Olive and First Streets (enter from Olive Street). Parking in this lot is $3.50 every 15 minutes until 4:30 p.m., with a maximum of $20. There is a flat fee of $10 after 4:30 p.m., on weekends and for special events. Parking is also available in nearby lots. Rates vary in these lots but generally they are around $11.00 for a full day.
We started this post recommending Grand Park as a place to rest while taking in the sights of downtown Los Angeles or on a walking tour of Downtown LA. If you started at the park and are looking for more to see, we recommend the Walt Disney Concert Hall just down the block on Grand Street. Heading up to the observation deck on the 27th floor of City Hall on the east is a must. It’s free and the views are unequaled. The Triforium Sculpture just beyond City Hall is worth a look as is the art deco Los Angeles Times building just to the south. Just a few blocks south, we love Angels Flight and the famous Bradbury Building that has been featured in so many movies is right there. Oh, and while you are at Angels Flight, don’t just look at it, ride it to the top for a dollar and check out DTLA’s urban oasis, California Plaza.
So there you have it. A few more interesting things to do in Los Angeles for your bucket list.