Project Overview

Cumming’s Role
Cumming was the owner’s representative responsible for managing the design and funding process, running the weekly OAC meetings, managing the project budget, coordinating owner consultants and the design-build team, conducting monthly schedule reviews, performing building commissioning, and developing and presenting monthly executive reports to the County of Los Angeles.

Overall Scope of Work
The construction of five new one-story pavilion buildings: restaurant, bar, welcome center, restrooms, and café.

The refurbishment of the fountain.

The relocation of the Jacques Lipchitz Peace on Earth sculpture 175 feet to the west to increase plaza capacity from 2,500 people to 5,000 people.

The reinforcement of concrete beams and columns in the garage below the five new structures, along with the relocation of utilities prior to doing so. This was a nine-month process.

The installation of a pedestal paver system (4,000 steel pedestals and 35,000 square feet of pavers) to make the plaza one level and more accessible. Previously it was recessed 30 inches around the fountain and had only two wheelchair ramps.

The creation of a new “front door” for the plaza that physically and visually connects its east side with Grand Avenue via a reconfigured grand staircase, along with escalators and garden overlooks.

Project Outcome
The project has been enormously successful for the County of Los Angeles, The Music Center, and especially the residents of Los Angeles. There have been a dozen large events hosting thousands of visitors since it opened in August 2019 – Dance DTLA, a sing-along with the LA Master Chorale, and resident company galas, to name a few. On a daily basis, one can observe employees and visitors from the Hall of Administration, the courthouse, the Department of Water and Power, and The Music Center enjoying a coffee while watching stunning artistic filters on the LED screens, eating their homemade lunch in the gardens, or eating Jason Fullilove’s buttermilk pie before a performance. The press response has been overwhelming in its assessment of the public-private collaboration to reinvest in and revitalize Downtown LA’s epicenter of culture and open space.

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Project Facts

Official Project Name
Plaza Renovation

Project Location
135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

The Music Center

The County of Los Angeles

Start Date
December 19, 2016

Original Completion Date
July 1, 2019

Actual Completion Date
May 21, 2019 (5+ weeks ahead of schedule)

Original Budget

Actual Final Project Cost
$41,300,000. The budget was increased by $1.3 million to add the Hope Street LED media displays and Grand Avenue banner towers.

Photo Credits: Tim Street Porter