Working with the City of Los Angeles and the non-proft Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiatve, Lewis|Schoeplein designed a new town square at the heart of historic Wilmington. Wilmington has a history as old as any in the City of Los Angeles: it was included in the 1784 Spanish land grant of Rancho San Pedro and in 1863became the city of Wilmington. The City of Los Angeles annexed Wilmington in 1909, and today it and neighboring San Pedro form the waterfront of one of the world’s largest import/export centers. Wilmington is known as “The Heart of the Harbor”. This working class neighborhood has been home to those who worked in the port, in ship building and in nearby petroleum industries. From its start Wilmington has been multi-ethnic. Today the neighborhood is predominantly Latino.
The design of the square is intended to refect and celebrate the historical roots of the community. The process has been fundamental to the design, and has included a series of community workshops in English and Spanish. The town square incorporates imagery related to Wilmington’s history, and includes a kiosko, an outdoor eating and games area, as well as an open plaza that accommodates rotating community programming such as a weekly farmers’ market, dance and yoga classes, holiday events and summer movie nights.