Destination Crenshaw: Black Los Angeles Greets the World

By Gwynedd Stuart, LA Weekly

When the eventual Metro Line trains connecting LAX and Union Station are up and running, travelers arriving to town via that route will get their first glimpse of the urban landscape when the train emerges at the Hyde Park Station on Crenshaw Boulevard. The train then will travel on street level for about a mile north on Crenshaw, before turning east toward Leimert Park and, from there, zigzagging above and below street level, toward the downtown skyline.

But let’s focus on that first mile for a moment — because that is what the Destination Crenshaw project is all about. Of course any civic-minded Angeleno would want travelers (and themselves) to enjoy a proper L.A. greeting when the train joins the street: public art, neon signs, trees, street culture. But these aren’t just any Angelenos — these are the residents and cultural heirs and stewards of the Crenshaw neighborhood, an area that is beyond rich in history, whose generations of pioneering accomplishments from music to sports, social justice and the arts have influenced the city, the nation and the world.

And that’s the spirit in which the ambitious and innovative Destination Crenshaw will greet those arriving to L.A. — and function 24/7 in the service of public culture for the neighborhood and the region year-round. The vision is a 1.1-mile-long, open-air museum featuring a procession of architecture, public art, green spaces, gathering points, murals, sculptures and texts that exuberantly chronicle and celebrate the infinitely creative excellence of what Crenshaw has to offer. It is, in its own words, “unapologetically black,” and it’s going to be amazing.

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