Heart of LA CEO Tony Brown, left, and Founder Mitch Moore, right, flank a Cal Poly Pomona Landscape Architecture Student
On a crisp October day, second year college students in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona gathered excitedly to present their midterm projects to a panel of jurors, including Heart of LA (HOLA) CEO Tony Brown and Founder Mitch Moore. The studio walls were covered with 74 landscape renderings of an entryway sequence for HOLA’s iconic new Arts and Recreation Center, located in Lafayette Park.

“When I walked in and the walls were filled of HOLA renderings, it was overwhelming like a wave washed over me.” Mitch recalled, “I was really blown away. It was more than a class... the thinking, creativity and intelligence behind each design to make HOLA a better place. I was so overwhelmed with emotion.”

The salon-style review was a somewhat informal exchange as 74 second-year college students presented their project designs and thought process to the jurors. They had all previously visited HOLA’s campus to tour the construction site and surrounding park. They all explored and interacted with the existing buildings, responding strongly to the natural park landscape and the art covered walls of HOLA. Some students wanted to tie in architectural elements of the older Bryson and Royale buildings; while others were interested in learning more about the engaged community at HOLA.

Driven by a concern to improve the daily lives of children and families living in the inner city, all the walls were filled with the spirit of HOLA as students articulated their thinking behind each project design.

“These students were so proud of their work,” Mitch comments. “It’s just amazing. The new generation thinking about a better future and HOLA is at the center of their thoughts.”

The Heart of Los Angeles project received $14,550,000 in NMTC funding, retained an 54 jobs and created 292 permanent and construction jobs.

2 November 2018

excerpts from "DESIGNING LANDSCAPE IN THE SPIRIT OF HOLA" by Stephanie Silberman, Development & Communications Manager for Heart of LAHeart of LA