Slow Roll

More outdoor gallery and parklets than civic monument

Los Angeles is a mélange of commercial boulevards, a thirty-five-miles-an-hour blur where icons, a dime a dozen, are subsumed into a haze of endless banality. Crenshaw is one of LA’s longest commercial strips, and
its identity within the African American community has an equally expansive cultural history. Destination Crenshaw aims to capture that past for the present. More outdoor gallery and parklets than civic monument, the design is pitched as a nexus between locals and their neighborhood. Eight blocks long and anchored by Perkins+Will’s swooping Sankofa Park, the project lacks the gravity that would make it a site of pilgrimage for outsiders. Rather, its success lies in amplifying local culture (like the commissioned murals by Anthony “Toons One” Martin or Alison Saar’s sculptures) by bringing it to the streets, where it can be celebrated by residents or spotted by commuting Angelenos, who might pull over to take in the spectacle.

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