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Introducing the new Grand Avenue

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Eli Broad (with glasses) and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stand in front of one of the models of the new Grand Avenue at today's press conference.

We admit, we are entranced by shiny, pretty things, and in this case that goes for things encased in translucent glass, too. We're talking about debut of the design of Grand Avenue, phase 1, by a team of architects led by superstar Frank Gehry. The design includes two towers, a big park, retail space, condos, a 5-star hotel, rooftop pools and even a big grocery store. These are, as Frank Gehry said, are the things the community wants. "We yearn for a center," he told the assembled dignitaries and media people.

There were an array of speakers: the rich and powerful (Angeleno Eli Broad and the head of Related, the developer Steve Ross), the political (Supervisor Gloria Molina, Councilwoman Jan Perry, the Mayor) and Frank Gehry. They said what you'd expect — creating a center for the city, unique opportunity, working together — "This is a city of dreams," Mayor V said. "This is a city of hope. If not here, where?" Steve Ross agreed. "Great cities require a great center," he said, then proceeded to imply that New York, his home, would always be greater. But Frank Gehry got things back on track, asking "What can it be? What should it look like?" then answering himself: "It shouldn't look like New York. It shouldn't look like Paris. It should look like us."

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He spoke of using outdoor space, and terraces, then finally gave up and gestured at the models, letting them speak for themselves. We would have taken more photos of the models if we'd realized that the press kit they gave us featured just two images — they're after the jump.

What do you think of the new Grand Avenue?