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Frank Gehry
Third Street Promenade steps successfully into its 25th anniversary
Third Street Promenade steps successfully into its 25th anniversary

When Barbara Tenzer started leasing out Santa Monica retail space in the mid-1980s, she wondered how a beach town with such agreeable weather and appealing neighborhoods could harbor a downtown blighted by vagrants, dodgy bars and ubiquitous vacant storefronts. "Why," Tenzer recalled thinking, "is it so deserted and sad and lonely?" Those descriptors soon became passé, and much of the credit goes to the Third Street Promenade. The three-block-long pedestrian zone, which this month celebrates its 25th anniversary, was initially a ploy to lure locals back to their downtown, but it surprised even its most ardent boosters by eventually drawing millions of...

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