KCRW: Lawrence Halprin
October 17, 2017 - Avishay Artsy
Amid the glittering glass-and-steel towers and bustle of downtown Los Angeles, office workers could be forgiven for seeking a quiet garden with a fountain to enjoy during their lunch hour.
They might find solace in a series of four parks along Hope Street, created in the late 1980s and early ’90s by the late Lawrence Halprin. His modernist urban parks offer a feeling of serenity in the hectic core of big city life.
The landscape designer, a trailblazer in his field, is enjoying a renaissance, spurred on by a traveling exhibition that has now arrived in Los Angeles, and by a call to arms from conservationists intent on preserving his legacy against forces that would alter or tear down his monumental parks.
Halprin’s downtown LA projects include the Bunker Hill Steps, a massive concrete staircase connecting Hope Street with the Los Angeles Public Library’s Central Library on Fifth Street that is surrounded by plants and bisected by a flowing waterfall. Until recently, the water cascaded over rocky outcrops; but those were replaced by smooth bricks — a change Halprin’s fans say contradicts the original intent of the design.Read More >>