POLITICS/URBAN AFFAIRS (Inglewood): NFL stadium, commentary (Christopher Hawthorne): "Success of Inglewood's new showcase NFL complex depends on how it develops its surroundings" ....
* Los Angeles Times (Christopher Hawthorne): "Success of Inglewood's new showcase NFL complex depends on how it develops its surroundings" - From the LAT:
The feints, dodges, Potemkin stadium renderings and extended leverage plays are over. The National Football League — behemoth, cruelly skilled manipulator of cities and printer of money — is officially headed back to Los Angeles.
After a secret-ballot vote last month by the league's owners, the St. Louis Rams have won the right to leave the Edward Jones Dome, a facility frequently derided as decrepit and outdated though it's all of 21 years old, and move to Inglewood. The $2.6-billion-plus complex that the team will occupy there, designed by the Dallas firm HKS and due to open in 2019, is vast and ambitious enough to immediately join the new Wilshire Grand tower and a planned addition to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as one of the most anticipated pieces of architecture in the local pipeline.
Along with the stadium, which will have a maximum capacity of 80,000, the development will include a large, covered plaza, a 6,000-seat performance venue and (eventually) an extensive collection of commercial, retail and residential space. The design of the stadium itself, which will be sunk 100 feet into the ground and covered with a sweeping, translucent roof, is full of impressive — and impressively telegenic — touches. It is eager to look like no other football stadium in the country and at the same time . . . . . . . .
The challenge for HKS — and for Inglewood, to the degree that its political class proves willing to challenge the Rams and the NFL on the urbanism of the development — will be to knit the project into the civic and cultural life of the city rather than allowing it to emerge as one more glimmering, inward-looking Southern California enclave.
In that sense the planned development is very much a work in progress. While it's fairly clear at this point what will rise in its center, with the stadium and the performance venue tucked beneath that huge roof, the design remains fuzzy around the edges. And it's really around the edges that it will ultimately succeed or fail, especially where the fortunes of Inglewood are concerned .......................