In late 2020, Kelsi Maree Borland talked with me about planning and development in Glendale and Santa Monica, the two cities where I worked between 2005 and 2020. My perspective from inside City Hall resulted in four short articles published with Globe St.
“In Glendale, The Americana pioneered the concept of mixed-use urban residential in a downtown and inspired a 10-year building boom that added over 3,000 new residential units across 20-plus projects to the immediate area.” My essay about The Americana at Brand is one of the many entries in the online SAH Archipedia.
We have attempted in our work in Glendale, to quote the legendary planner Edmund Bacon, “to develop design principles capable of influencing future action. We have endeavored to establish a design idea of such potency that it welds the work of individual architects designing in fragmented areas into a cohesive whole.”
The Glendale Arts Colony is the result of an RFP for development issued jointly by the City of Glendale and the Glendale YMCA. The program, affordable housing for artists, aligns with the goals of the Maryland Arts and Entertainment District one block away, while the design, by Studio One Eleven, resolves a number of site constraints and brings coherency to the Y campus.
After a $15 million renovation, the Glendale Central Library re-opened to the public this past Monday, May 1. Originally designed by Welton Becket Associates in 1973, the renovation by Gruen Associates modernizes the Library’s technology infrastructure for the 21st century. The renovation is also part of a multi-phased strategy to redevelop the Central Park, bringing both the Library and Park into a the urban design framework of the Downtown as a whole.
Glendale Central Library Re-Imagined is the $15 million renovation of the 1973 Welton Becket-designed Brutalist library. The Library renovation is part of a multi-phased strategy to redevelop the Central Park, bringing both the Library and Park into a the urban design framework of the Downtown as a whole.
In the spirit of the recent “Never Built” or “UnBuilt” exhibits and publications, a look back at some the more interesting projects that didn’t happen during my eleven year tenure as Glendale’s chief urban designer.
The Downtown Mobility Report Card seeks to better understand the impacts of the Downtown Specific Plan and Mobility Study through tangible outcomes and metrics. The findings of the Report Card creates benchmarks for the City to track mobility trends over time, and offer recommendations for improving data availability.
Glendale Connected is a proposal advanced by the City of Glendale for a series of regional transit routes that individually and collectively integrate Glendale into the larger regional transit system and link the City to nearby destinations such as Burbank Airport, Union Station, Pasadena and the Media Center.
“Being in city government is exciting in that you have the opportunity to invent projects. You can see a need or opportunity to fix a problem, figure out how you approach that problem, and then craft a project around it.” – Looking back the projects completed and initiatives started in 2016.
Last month Glendale launched its new pedestrian safety campaign, “Be Street Smart Glendale.” This program consists of three components: the Safety Education Initiative, Safe Routes to Schools, and Citywide Pedestrian Plan. Glendale residents and visitors will start seeing “Be Street Smart Glendale” branding in various locations throughout the city. GTV6 produced a short video to introduce the program.
Glendale’s first Green Streets Project is the result of a competitive Proposition 84 Urban Greening Project Grant application. Funding from this grant offers the City its first opportunity to combine multi-modal infrastructure improvements with enhancements to water quality and stormwater management.
Space 134 has been trending in the local media since we presented the latest vision plan to City Council on March 1, 2016.
“Being in city government is exciting is that you have the opportunity to invent projects. You can see a need or opportunity to fix a problem, figure out how you approach that problem, and then craft a project around it.” Discussing urban design in the public realm on Archinect’s One-to-One Podcasts
The Museum of Neon Art (MONA), adjacent mid-block pedestrian paseo and the beautification of the parallel alley and parking lot represents the first phase of the Central Park Master Plan.
Patience is a necessary character trait for the urban designer, as it can take many years, if not decades, for your plans to be realized. 2015, however, was the year in which many of the elements in the plan we proposed for downtown Glendale came to started to come together. Plans do come to fruition.
In a short ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday December 9, Glendale officially opened the mid-block paseo adjacent the Museum of Neon Art connecting Brand Boulevard and the Central Park, completing the first phase of the Central Park Master Plan.
As Principal Urban Designer for the City of Glendale, from 2005 to 2015 Alan Loomis was responsible for design review of approximately 5000 units of urban housing and over 750,000sf of commercial space, providing design direction to architects through submittal process.
The California Chapter of the American Planning Association recognized Glendale on October 4 during their 2015 Annual Conference in Oakland. The honor, an Implementation Award (Large Jurisdiction), recognizes the past ten years of planning in Glendale’s Downtown.
The Pedestrian Safety Campaign will focus on improving pedestrian safety in Glendale through a continuing education program teaching residents the proper rules of the road for every transportation mode, creating and promoting events that will promote safe walking and bicycling, and launching an awareness campaign through a variety of media sources.
The Citywide Pedestrian Plan, funded by a Caltrans Active Transportation Program (ATP) grant, will consolidate existing pedestrian policies, recommend new policies, identify viable pedestrian corridors, assess intersections with high pedestrian/bicycle accident rates, and recommend improvements and programs through an action plan.
The South Glendale Community Plan is the second in a series of comprehensive plans for Glendale, and will address the urbanized heart of the City south of the 134 Freeway.
The Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) recognized the City of Glendale with the Implementation Award of Excellence for the Glendale Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) & Mobility Study.
Patrick Healy of NBC4 News profiled the “freeway cap park” movement in Southern California on the 6 o’clock news yesterday. He and I spent some time discussing Glendale’s Space 134 project.
This course “field tested” Glendale’s draft Small Lot Ordinance through a series of investigative operations, developer roundtables, field trips and research.