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Crenshaw Celebrates ‘Black Los Angeles’ With Outdoor Museum Along Metro Line

By Sharelle Burt

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Black Los Angeles is finally getting some much well-deserved recognition with a new museum that viewers won’t have to pay a fee to see.

Destination Crenshaw is a new project designed by Perkins + Will to highlight creatives and artists in the community. The ‘air museum’ will run along Crenshaw Boulevard between 48th and 60th streets, and feature permanent and rotating public art as well as street art.

Photo courtesy of Curbed Los Angeles

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The idea came about after the decision was made to put the Crenshaw/LAX line of the city’s Metro at ground level instead of underground. Having the train running at the street level in the busy district is a good idea since community members were worried about construction hindering business along the corridor. The decision also had residents feeling like the city was receiving ‘the bare minimum’ again, a major issue in black communities across the United States. The Metro was even sued over the project.

“This is unheard of in the city,” Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson said. “But we’re doing what our community has always done: We’re turning insult into opportunity.”

Destination Crenshaw is designed to so that train riders at the Hyde Park station will have an eye-level view of all the unique artwork and upgrades. The landscape, designed by Studio-MLA, will have a new public amphitheater with a raised overlook, 11 new parks and parklets and hundreds of new trees. With construction starting in 2019,  Destination will pay homage to the Wall of Crenshaw, an 800-foot-long mural featuring prominent black thinkers, activists, and performers. The wall was vandalized in late November.

“Everything that we build is simply a backdrop to the innovative, artistic spirit that is alive and thriving here in the Crenshaw district,” Perkins + WIll Principal Zena Howard said.

Destination Crenshaw will be open to the public in 2020 before the Crenshaw line starts running.

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Sharelle Burt

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