By Jason KUROSU
A plan for creating a freeway cap park within downtown Glendale received more public exposure Wednesday night, June 24, when city officials and local business owners met at the Alex Theatre to discuss and learn about the proposal.
The night’s mixer was the second outreach event for Space 134, a proposed open space project that would transform the 134 freeway through downtown Glendale into park space that could cover as much as 25 acres of land upon completion, stretching from Central to Glendale avenues.
The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has funded the concept, planning and outreach phases of the project, but more funding will be needed, likely from both public and private sources, for construction. Furthermore, funding will determine just how much of the 25-acre project will be built. The project is split into three sections, a five-acre Downtown Park, a 15-acre Neighborhood Park and a 10-acre Village Center.
Amber Hawkes, urban designer and planner with Melendrez, the landscape architecture firm behind Space 134’s design, compared the project to the 5.2 acre Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, built through downtown Dallas atop the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
Klyde Warren Park opened in 2012, with construction completed after three years. The park was funded through a public-private partnership and features a performance stage, dog park, restaurant and a number of other amenities that could appear in Glendale’s park.
Another outreach event was held in May on Earth Day, an open street event that showcased the vision for the park and allowed residents to weigh in on what they would want to see in a Glendale cap park. Polling results indicated the most interest in building artful spaces (cultural events, artistic playgrounds, public art), followed by features that incorporate nature, active uses like trails and open fields, and spaces that celebrate Glendale.
Polling also indicated that kid-friendly activities and public transit opportunities were also among the desired amenities for Glendale’s park.
Members of the Glendale City Council voiced their approval of the proposed project at the June 24 event, particularly noting the rarity for open space opportunities in downtown Glendale.
Vartan Gharpetian called Space 134 “a large project, an aggressive project, but this is a very exciting project.”
“This is going to generate a lot of parkland that is needed, especially with all the developments that we’ve got. And we need the parkland. It’s not easy to purchase land in Glendale,” said Gharpetian.
“It will be a jewel in our city,” added councilmember Paula Devine.
“It’s a big dream. It’s a big project. But if you don’t have big dreams, you don’t get anything done and we’re all about the big vision here in Glendale,” said councilmember Laura Friedman. “Look at the space that this park would create and then think about what the economy would be to buy that amount of land and build a giant park in south Glendale, given how built-out south Glendale is and that we don’t have 20 acres up for sale in the middle of our city. This is a project that makes sense and will bring much needed parkland and amenities to Glendale.”
For more information on the Space 134 project, visit