Skaters are working with the City of Los Angeles to try and preserve elements of the West Los Angeles Courthouse skate plaza. The courthouse closed in 2013, and with the help of Nike in 2014 became a skatepark. Now, with a dire lack of housing and limited options for available land, the City of Los Angeles is looking to use the space as housing, however, none of the current proposals seem to include keeping the features central to the skatepark.
Skaters are trying to change that.
Alec Beck, public education manager for The Skatepark Project (Tony Hawk's nonprofit), has been working with city officials to make sure skaters' interests are included in redevelopment plans.
"This is a space that is in feature films. This is a space that's in multiple video games. This is very much like a Wrigley Field or a Fenway Park for the action sports community," Beck notes. "So we're not opposing the development in itself. We're hoping to work with the developers. Essentially, we want to find a way to save, recycle, or replicate these elements of the original space to make sure some form of this culturally significant space is accessible for generations to come."
Beck's organization is rallying young people to come to meetings and share what makes the space so valuable. He says expect to see more of them at city and county meetings as the future of the courthouse is decided.