Grand Park opened in 2012 to much fan fare and excitement, especially for the Downtown community that had been wishing for a larger central civic green space after Pershing Square. Grand Park lies within the Civic Center neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles surrounded by courthouses, administration buildings, the Music Center and City Hall. Since its opening, Grand Park has been home to community-wide events, the 4th of July celebration Block party and the largest New Year’s Eve celebration in the city! We look forward to more events as the years go by!
One of the biggest central pieces of Grand Park is the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain located between the Hill Street and Grand Avenue parcel. The beautiful fountain lights the evening with changing illuminations. As children play in the extremely shallow pond in the front, while “walking on water” kids can be shadows in front of the night lights of the city’s fountain. This amazing fountain and its features appear to be something that was planned and built for the 2012 opening of Grand Park…. but it was not. The fountain has been a mainstay since the 1960’s!
Arthur J. Will was the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles, appointed by the County Board of Supervisors in 1951. He served this position until 1957. Mr. Will was known for streamlining and helping bring efficiency to government offices in order to work together for civic projects. He received a lot of praise for his work to bring cooperation among government offices. The Civic Center Mall fountain was named after him for his achievements.
Grand Park was a renovation of the previous Civic Center Mall. Previous plazas and parking lots between Grand Avenue and City Hall were remodeled, removed and renovated. However, the Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain continues to stand, albeit with some slight touch-up renovations, and remains a proud mainstay of Downtown’s Grand Park. The fountain continues to be a visual highlight for city residents and visitors and is best viewed after dusk when the multicolored lights highlight the flowing water. Make your plans to visit and walk the benches that surround the fountain like Julia Roberts did in Pretty Woman (1990) or have a dance around like Tom in 500 Days of Summer (2009)!