Growth Management | Features | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
Loading...

Growth Management 

Lauren Bon

Wednesday, Apr 19 2006
Comments

Artist Lauren Bon focused attention on the potential of downtown’s new Cornfield state historic park last year with an act as brilliant as it was obvious: She planted the swath of empty, low-lying land with corn. The corn grew tall as the summer sun arched higher, and the field’s verdant, vividly green beauty shimmered in startling contrast to the concrete bunker that is downtown. Under Bon’s nurturing, the sun, the seed and the site’s historic significance all conspired, unleashing an almost Dionysian energy. What ensued was a kind of Summer of Love, with drumming, dancing, bonfires, lectures, soirees, film and art festivals. It was as if nature coupled with the city and produced culture as its offspring, persuasive evidence that downtown desperately needs a defining natural feature — a Central Park, a Golden Gate Park — and that the agricultural field that once fed el pueblo is the right choice.

Bon was drawn to the site even as an adolescent, biking to the North Broadway bridge to dangle her feet over the industrial ruins below. She experienced, she says, “a sense of infinity there .?.?. an eerie absence that is [the Cornfield’s] essential presence .?.?. a void in the historic and geographic center of our city that is itself a monument of sorts.” Thousands have added their names to Bon’s mailing list, creating a volunteer army that can keep the heat on if plans for the park ever stall. The corn has been harvested, the seeds gathered, the bales of compost now stand in a forlorn “Cornhenge.” But the field will not lie fallow for long, because Bon is staging a last act: the bales have been planted with golden poppies, which should soon explode into bloom. And Bon is on one of the teams competing for the chance to design the new park.

Related Stories

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Controversial Detective Frank Lyga Fired by LAPD Chief, His Lawyer Says

    Controversial cop Frank Lyga was terminated by Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, the detective's attorney, Ira Salzman, told L.A. Weekly today. Lyga was sent home with pay in June after a recording of comments he made to an ongoing-training course for law enforcement was brought to the media's...
    3
  • The Deadline to Register to Vote Is Today

    Yes, there's an election next month. So called mid-term elections (two years before or after presidential elections) are notorious for their low turnout. But if you don't vote, you can't complain about the clowns elected by the people who do. Jobs up for your approval in Los Angeles county include...
  • West Hollywood Weed Shop Raided by Feds

    Some marijuana proponents are excited by evolving views on cannabis in Washington. Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder implemented more lax sentencing guidelines for small-time drug crimes, President Obama's nominee to be the nation's top civil rights cop, Vanita Gupta, is a legalization proponent, and Obama himself has said he doesn't...
    2
Los Angeles Concert Tickets