Earlier today, we found a flyer opposing changes to Plummer Park while on Santa Monica Blvd. The flyer, seen above, was in English and Russian urged against heavy construction, citing such acts will “drag on for 2 years” and that it is important to “save our beautiful park.” Reading this and seeing everything that would be affected by this mysterious construction, we were also concerned and very upset by what was going to happen. The flyer makes it sound like the park is being removed and a new version of The Grove is popping up in its place at the cost of $40 million. That would be one of the most disgusting things to ever happen in this city, if that were the case.
We looked up the organizers of this on Facebook to find a lot of heated rhetoric furthering this cause. They cite all of the old trees that will be going down as part of the plan, notes on Eugene Plummer and his life’s work, and urging everyone over to the Change.org petition to stop the project with an online petition. The group also has a Twitter that they are using sometimes to reach out to a few followers on the subject.
To take a look at what they are protesting, we hopped over to the West Hollywood website to take a peek at the plan. And, looking over the projected new park, we’re not sure who to side with since the newly designed park actually does look very nice. The redesign of the park will make it more of a community center based around a new building (designed by LA architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa) intended for local gatherings, events, and performances. The pitch only cites that 16 of the 196 trees will be removed while 58 will stay in place and 122 will be transplanted, all to fit into a new landscape by OLIN, who did the landscaping for The Getty, the Rodin Museum, and the famous Bryant Park in New York. Additionally, 40 new trees are going to be added to the area. The redesign will place a large water fountain in the park along with a redesigned pre-school for locals to utilize.
After reviewing both cases, we’re not sure who to side with but do feel some pulling toward a new park. Yes, $40 million dollars, over a year of work, and 16 trees would be devastating to the community; but, a brand new school, community center, and revamped park could attract more locals than just those that live across the street from it. The opposition, although incredibly justified, seems to be coming from a place that strictly opposes change to oppose change. From all of their social media activity (and lack of response or track in that activity), it is clear they’re aiming at a specifically older audience that live near the park, many of which are older Russian neighbors and likely not Facebook users (which we are assuming based what we see in the neighborhood and the fact that the flyer is in two languages).
What do you think about the situation with Plummer Park? Are you going to sign the Change.org petition? Are you excited to see what will come of the park in over a year’s time? Leave your opinion in the comments!