On Monday, April 4, the City Council voted unanimously to name the city’s newest park Playhouse Village Park and to honor the late Pasadenan rock music legend, Eddie Van Halen, by naming the elevated event area “Van Halen Stage.”
By Deborah Dentler
On Thursday, April 7, residents and representatives from the Playhouse Village Association (PVA) got a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the new public park, on Union Street, near the historic Pasadena Playhouse Theater.
Danny J. Welch, Senior Project Manager for the City’s Public Works Department led the way around the park site, fielding questions and pointing out features of the site. Guests picked their way cautiously over expanses of dust and dirt, while Welch pointed out elegant new light poles, handcrafted concrete forms (fabricated on site), and the emerging contours of an elevated grassy mound where visitors can watch performances and outdoor movies.
“People sometimes complain to me about what looks on the surface like there’s been little progress,” Welch noted, “but what you don’t see is all the infrastructure right under your feet.” Gas and electrical lines have been installed, and the site had to be carefully engineered to drain well in periods of heavy rain. Running water will supply drinking fountains and pre-fab modular restrooms and diaper changing stations.
Below the permeable-paved parking area (Welch boasted that it’s “the most beautiful parking lot of my career”) is infrastructure for EV-charging stations.
Dog play zones–one for small dogs, another for large dogs—are nearly complete. New trees and shrubs will be planted in the next two weeks, depending on weather conditions, and colorful shade tents will be erected over a children’s playground. Once construction is completed, the City will commence work on a protected bike lane for adjacent Union Avenue.
Playhouse Village Park is scheduled to open in mid-summer 2022.
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