Bunker Hill Park

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Leslie Taplin writes;

You had asked a very good question of the group, namely, what kind of park would you be inclined to take your friends to visit? I thought that was an excellent parameter for considering design ideas. I have a simple answer that keeps coming back to me - one with a lake. And ducks. And maybe fish. Lakes are not like other bodies of water. They aren't like most fountains downtown which too often, when they are working, have an aggressiveness that pushes you away. Lakes make you go inward, a walk around a lake is a meditation. Staring into a lake is a deepening experience, and when people go deeper in that way they get quieter, more kind to others and to themselves. Ducks are just entertaining, and their quacking would add a nice white noise to the sound of buses and commuter traffic. They're fun to feed, the scraps of your bag lunch. A lake might even become a welcome stopover for migrating flocks of visiting birds. Those who live downtown could follow those migrations over time, clock the seasons by it. I don't know enough about fish to make any recommendations about them, but flashes of silver under the water always quickens the heart. That's my answer to your question what kind of a park would I really visit, and bring my friends.


  • Great idea. I wonder if the platform above the parking garage could support the weight of a body of water...

    By Blogger Bert Green, at Thu Oct 06, 04:08:00 PM 2005  

  • I have been thinking about it since I received Leslie's note. I have come to this solution; an arc shaped pond around part of the plaza at the bottom of the hill across from city hall. As far as I know there is no parking lot underneath that block making a water feature a possibility. The outside of the arc could be a natural pond shore which is what Leslie is after, the inside 'shore' would be more formal at the edge of the plaza. I don't see any other place it would fit. It would be a nice finish for Stuart Rappeport's proposal of a stream running down from Grand to the bottom.

    By Blogger Tim, at Thu Oct 06, 09:59:00 PM 2005  

  • The benefits of waterworks aside, I personally feel that they don't deserve a place in Los Angeles. To me, fountains and lakes in this region seem foolhardy and disrespectful.

    Water works are foolhardy because we live in a climate that is very dry and hot. They take a resource away from native plants and habitats in Colorado, the Bay Delta, and Owens Valley and its environs, and make a great show of throwing it away.

    Disrespectful because to build waterworks is to symbolically ignore all the benefits of saving that resource so that others can live and thrive by using it.

    I am reminded of the massive fountain in front of the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District Headquarters in Santa Fe Springs. If you've ever seen this building, you' agree that it's fountain is insane: there is a massive, tumbling, fountain on the south side of the building. It's a humiditiy maker, because the water gets so hot, it seems to evaporate instantly. It is built adjacent to a turned-in office park and an abandoned oil refinery.

    Fountains in this region seem to be to be used to make a big point to passers-by, but rarely provide a true service to those who come near to them.

    By Blogger ubrayj02, at Sun Oct 09, 10:30:00 AM 2005  

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