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The History of Grand Hope Park

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Los Angeles is a city full of incredible sights, but it’s sometimes the ones in your own backyard that go overlooked. In fact, one of the city’s most beautiful, intimate green spaces just so happens to be in the center of the city. In the city’s South Park neighborhood, Grand Hope Park is a shining jewel, offering a quiet, contemplative space for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a little calm.

While many of Los Angeles’ parks, like Pershing Square, Elysian Park, MacArthur Park, and Echo Park are over 100 years old, Grand Hope Park is a relative newcomer to the city. Completed in 1993, this 2.5-acre park has provided respite for city dwellers for the past 25 years and continues to get better with every passing year. The park was designed by late landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, whose influence can be seen throughout the West Coast. Born in Brooklyn, Halprin moved to the San Francisco Bay area in the 1940s, working on numerous projects throughout the West Coast in the years before his death in 2009. His influence can be seen everywhere from Ghirardelli Square and the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco to the Ira Keller Fountain in Portland, Oregon’s Lovejoy Park to the Water Garden in Olympia, Washington. However, there’s no doubt that Grand Hope Park is his piece de resistance. In fact, it’s Halprin who designed the park’s iconic clock tower, which welcomes visitors at the park’s entrance.

The park, which was commissioned by the Los Angeles Redevelopment Agency as a means of reinvigorating the neighborhood, has certainly had that effect. Combining a unique assemblage of distinct outdoor spaces, or “rooms,” each crafted from elements in the park, from trees to fountains, the park is a clear standout in the city, incorporating the arts culture Los Angeles is known for with the natural beauty that makes the city so special. In fact, the park is home to numerous pieces of visual art, with work from Ralph McIntosh, Lita Albuquerque, Adrian Saxe, Raul Guerrero, and Gwynn Murrill, among others. In addition to its artistic elements, the park is also home to more traditional features, like a playground, water features, and space for community events.

While the park has long been a popular destination in the city, the development of the surrounding neighborhood has made it even more appealing. In addition to the FIDM Museum and Galleries and great restaurants like Yojie Japanese Fondue and beloved taco truck Danny’s Tacos, the neighborhood is now home to 888 Hope, a luxury rental that’s transforming the area. Not only does the building boast stunning views of Grand Hope Park from its loft-like homes, it also offers a private resort park and pool, in addition to a stunning terrace lounge for residents.

Grand Hope Park has long been a beautiful part of the Los Angeles landscape, and it’s only getting better. Whether you’re a local or are just visiting the city, it’s worth your while to take time and get to know this urban oasis.  

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