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Plans For MacArthur Park Renovation Take Another Step Forward

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In 1990, 30 people were murdered in MacArthur Park. But, in recent years, the park, closing in on its 150th anniversary, has begun to shake its connection to drugs, crime, and prostitution as it follows (if slowly) in the footsteps of its more family-friendly brother to the north: Echo Park.

According to the Los Angeles Times, In 2008, City Councilman Gil Cedillo initiated a $2.5 million renovation of the park, which " brought in a popular artificial-turf soccer field, stadium lights, picnic tables and a children’s playground."

Cedillo is still pursuing a grander vision for the park. One that comes with a $20 million price tag. And the project is moving forward (if slowly).

The plan moved forward recently with the Housing and Community Investment Department's $1.3 million proposal for federal funding to upgrade the park and make it more ADA compliant. Urbanize LA adds that the funds would go to improvements "including pathways, parking stalls, a preschool area and restroom improvements. Additionally, the funds would allow for preliminary architecture and engineering for a new boathouse with restrooms and concession facilities."

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Echo Park debuted its new concession stand in 2013. East Hollywood brunch darling Square One operated an outfit there from 2013 to 2016. In 2017, a new cafe called Beacon took over. According to The Eastsider, 2015 saw "$580,000 in food and drinks [sales], according to a parks commission board report. About $29,000 - or 5% - of that revenue went to Recreation and Parks."

Not $20 million, sure, but we'll settle with enjoying a meal at MacArthur Park lake instead.