There Will Be a Public Art Plaza Below LA’s New Sixth Street Bridge

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Thank you to Leonard Hill for funding a new arts plaza beneath #LA‘s new #6thstreetbridge.

— Mayor’sFundLA (@MayorsFundLA) January 28, 2016

Though it’s sad to see the historic Sixth Street Viaduct go the way of the wrecking ball, its replacement has enough features to sooth the pain of losing a Los Angeles icon. The new, $449-million Sixth Street Bridge will be state of the art, stretching the definition of what a bridge can be. Not only will it get cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians over the LA River, it will also act as a public gathering place and a venue for the arts.

According to the Downtown News, developer Leonard Hill has just donated $1.9 million to the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles to construct an arts plaza underneath the new Sixth Street Bridge. In 2019, construction will begin on the Leonard Hill Arts Plaza, a 1.4-acre arts space, complete with performance stage and space for al fresco arts classes that will be open to the public. The donation also includes funding for a performing arts series at the space.

The plaza will sit on the Arts District side of the new bridge, west of Santa Fe Avenue, but not much else is known at this time. The Bureau of Engineering is developing the plaza design and will gather community input before finalizing plaza plans; then the City Council has to approve acceptance of the funds and even the final name for the plaza before construction can begin. If all goes without a hitch, art programming for the space should begin by 2020.

Leonard Hill himself is no stranger to the changing face of the Arts District. He’s the man behind the Toy Factory Lofts and the Biscuit Lofts, two adaptive reuse projects that helped usher in the yuppification of the Downtown neighborhood. He believes the new Sixth Street Bridge can be a “meaningful and monumental city center.”

Sixth Street Bridge arts plaza

Sixth Street Viaduct

Whittier Blvd. & E. Sixth St., Los Angeles, CA

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