The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority(Metro) has gone “back to the future” in North Hollywood by adding a new landscaped plaza in front of the historic Lankershim Train Depot. Metro riders,residents and visitors can now gather in a lush garden just steps away from the popular Metro Orange and Red Line transit stations.
Metro has built an 8,500 square-foot natural oasis that features trees and plantings, a new pedestrian thoroughfare, outdoor seats and overhead lighting. Canary Island date palms and olive trees provide an iconic visual identity to the corner of Lankershim and Chandler boulevards.
Metro’s “California Garden”-inspired theme is a tribute to the State’s early horticultural beginnings, and includes colorful and drought-tolerant perennials, California natives and succulent accent plants.
In developing this corner of its transit property, Metrosought to re-create a thriving public space that was originally built at Lankershim Depot around 1914. The park was used for town concerts and local events. At the time, Lankershim Depot served as an active station for the Pacific Electric Red Car, Southern California’s first passenger rail system.The Red Cars transported Angelenos to and from the rural but increasingly urban San Fernando Valley.
“I’m excited to see an historic site like the Lankershim Depot transformed by Metro into a stunning 21st century transit station,” said Sheila Kuehl, L.A. County Supervisor and Metro Board Chair. “It’s a beautiful,peaceful refuge in the heart of an increasingly busy multi-modal transit hub.”
Metro’s landscape contractors, Mott-McDonald and Anil Verma Associates have implemented the concept of sustainable development for the new landscaped plaza, which includes low water usage and highly efficient irrigation systems. Plantings were specifically chosen to thrive in drought conditions. Metro is also extending water conservation efforts throughout the Metro Orange Line corridor. The agency is in the process of converting the irrigation systems from a potable water source to recycled water source.