Leave it to Los Angeles, our homeland of abstraction and je ne sais quoi attitude, to have two distinct neighborhoods with the same name: South Park. Around Downtown Los Angeles, South Park is more commonly understood as the area above the 10 Freeway and below 9th Street. It's most recognized for the Staples Center, Convention Center and L.A. Live complex and rapid infill development of housing. It boasts several industrial spaces, like where local gallery Chateau Shatto lives at Pico/Grand and several new murals have been erected in the past year.
But keep heading south along the 110 Freeway and you'll find another South Park. The original South Park neighborhood, situated between Vernon and Slauson, is centered around a 20-acre park, called South Park, that was amongst the City of Los Angeles' first public parks, opening in 1899. So how does a hundred plus year old historic neighborhood become used as the name for a new swath of development in Downtown LA's southwest quadrant? Blame the LA Dep't of City Planning, who in 1972 published a plan for a greener, more livable Downtown LA that featured "South Park Urban Village," a planned neighborhood to surround a central park between Flower St and Grand Ave from 9th to 12th Streets. Though the plan was never enacted, the name was brought back in the 1990's as new development began to revive and transform the neglected area. (Read more about the original South Park neighborhood here) •
(image via South Park BID)