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Community members learn about proposed Glendale Central Park redesign

Community members learn about proposed Glendale Central Park redesign
A three-image Photoshop compilation offers a view of Glendale's Central Park from the CBRE-Masonic Temple building, taken on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

About 200 people filled a room in the Adult Recreation Center Thursday night to learn more about Glendale's proposal to overhaul Central Park in order to make room for the planned Armenian American Museum and reconfigure the open space.

In 2016, city officials agreed to carve out an area in the Central Park block for the museum and also used the opportunity to reimagine the space so it could integrate nearby facilities as well as create new public and recreational spaces.

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The proposed redesign by Sausalito-based architectural design firm SWA Group places the museum in the southwest quadrant of Central Park at roughly 61,000 square feet.

The redesign leaves the Central Library and Adult Recreation Center mostly intact and compensates for the reconfiguration of Central Park's current location with an expansion of open space, going from 76,000 square feet to almost 93,000 square feet.

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"Design principles" of the proposed plans for a redesign of the Glendale Central Park block.
"Design principles" of the proposed plans for a redesign of the Glendale Central Park block. (Courtesy City of Glendale)

Gerdo Aquino, SWA Group's chief executive, gave an overview of the proposed design and addressed a few questions from the audience.

Some of the concerns raised from audience members were about parking, the L-shape configuration of open space and the drastic upheaval of Central Park given Glendale's overall lack of park space.

"The goal in terms of open space is to make sure that you still have the same amount of open space even with the museum," Aquino said.

Four information stations were set up in the back of the room where attendees could find out more details about the design and speak directly with city planners and members of SWA Group.

At one station, Mark Berry, principal development officer with the city, spoke one-on-one with a crowd of Glendale residents, some of whom asked about flexibility on the size of the museum, its affect on shade and visibility as well as concerns over the lack of a study on pedestrian traffic.

"We worked with the museum committee to make sure that the museum wasn't too large and overwhelming," Berry said. "It was a balance between that and their programming needs … It was a push and shove."

A second meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday on the second floor of the Glendale Central Library, 222 E. Harvard St.

For more information about the Central Park design plans, visit bit.ly/2DhniK7.

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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