Throughout February, we’ve been commemorating Black History Month with a behind-the-scenes look at designs that celebrate and serve predominantly African American and African Canadian communities while honoring their unique histories. Our tour has included Resora, a farm laboratory for research, innovation, and education in agriculture and agribusiness; the expansion of Motown Museum in Detroit, Michigan; Sycamore Hill Gateway Plaza, a remembrance project in Greenville, North Carolina; and the new Hogan’s Alley, a restoration of a neighborhood once home to Vancouver’s largest African Canadian community. Thank you for taking these image tours with us!
Today, as we conclude our series, we’re sharing the renderings for Destination Crenshaw, a first-of-its-kind public art and culture experience celebrating Black Los Angeles. The 1.3-mile outdoor art and culture experience corridor, built along famed Crenshaw Boulevard and the new Metro line at street level, was born of a grassroots initiative created to counter gentrification trends that often accompany new transit lines. To reduce the costs of the new Metro line connecting downtown L.A. with Los Angeles International Airport, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transit Authority decided to run the new line at street level along Crenshaw Boulevard, crossing directly through black-owned businesses and a cultural corridor. In response, Destination Crenshaw turns what would have been an unfortunate disruption to the community into an opportunity, celebrating Black L.A.’s artistic and entrepreneurial identity as the Metro brings visitors and residents through the neighborhood.
Over the past two years, Perkins+Will conducted a multi-level engagement and design process with Crenshaw community partners to capture the creative and cultural stories that are a part of Crenshaw and the Black L.A. experience. The plans for Destination Crenshaw are a combined creation of our Los Angeles and North Carolina studios led by African American architects Gabrielle Bullock, Drake Dillard, Zena Howard, and Malcom Davis.
Unlike traditional museums, Destination Crenshaw will not be contained by walls. The open-air public art and cultural experience will tell the stories of the great contributions African Americans have made to Los Angeles and to the world.
The design plans for numerous permanent and rotating art installations, ten new public parks, exhibits, and streetscapes.
After departing the Metro at Leimert Park station, visitors will encounter large-scale murals, sculptures, exhibits, and a bustling streetscape.
“Destination Crenshaw is being built for and by Black Los Angeles atop a rich history of Black activism,” said Marqueeze Harris-Dawson, council member, City of Los Angeles, District Eight. It will be a living celebration to remain standing for decades to come, one so stunning that everyone who visits will call their friends saying, ‘You’ve got to come see this.’”