September 30, 1992 - From the September, 1992 issue

Architect Michael Lehrer Comments on Patsaouras’ Proposals

Los Angeles is at a crossroads. The riots have virtually institutionalized collective meditation. Shared pessimism will surely destroy this place. It is a fine line between vacuous Pollyannaism and that essential optimism that energizes us to make an extraordinary future. By Michael Lehrer, an architect with Lehrer Architects of Los Angeles and a member of the Hollywood Community Advisory Council.

The process of assessing and master planning the Metrorail station areas — begun with a most banal and disconnected set of intentions — increasingly offers some hope of achieving the quantum improvements to the essential life and structure of the city that a once-in-a­many-generation introduction of massive new infrastructure affords.

It was staggering to sit in on early RCC meetings about the Vermont-Sunset station area and witness the myopia, the lack of ambition, the obliviousness to the extraordinary opportunity and obligation that Metrorail puts on those designing and realizing it. In subsequent months, the emerging charge was sounded from Patsaouras, joined by architects and urbanists, to seize this unique moment.

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I believe that this strong opening charge must be relentlessly sounded, with the highest ambition of remaking our communities and our city. Great city building is largely a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we believe that Metrorail is the opportunity to make the affected communities whole and wonderful, we will make it so. Patsaouras and crew must crow louder and even more insistently to make this happen.

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© 2022 The Planning Report | David Abel, Publisher, ABL, Inc.