Park between Chinatown and LA River to open after 16-year delay

A Street Food Cinema event at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (Credit: Goldstar)
A Street Food Cinema event at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (Credit: Goldstar)

After 16 years of waiting, Angelenos will finally have access to Los Angeles State Historic Park.

The 32-acre site between Chinatown and the Los Angeles River will open Saturday, after construction was repeatedly stalled due to budgeting issues, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The city had originally planned to build an industrial and warehouse center on the site in the 1990s, but environmentalists and community activists rallied against that plan. In 2001, then-Gov. Gray Davis finally authorized California State Parks to buy the land.

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The State directed $20 million in bond funds toward the development of the park in 2012 after voters approved Prop. 40. With that money, the state planted 1,500 trees, built picnic areas, and set up a wildlife habitat, according to the Times.

“There’s a lot riding on this park’s success,” said state parks commissioner Elva Yanez. “If all goes according to plan it could spark more investment in similar projects throughout the state.”

State parks officials are already seeking funding for the next phase of development of the park, which would entail pedestrian bridges connected to a nearby Gold Line Station.

The nearby Pershing Square is also slated for a park makeover. The city selected French landscaping firm Agence Ter last May to design the DTLA park. [LAT]Cathaleen Chen