Let a canopy be your umbrella


The Westlake/MacArthur Park Station is getting a pretty new umbrella, although at the moment it looks more like orthodonture.

As we posted a few months ago, Westlake will be the first of three stations to get a protective canopy, with the other two stations — Civic Center and Pershing Square — still not ready for rain.

The construction process involves building massive support columns at the site to hold up the sleek but heavy canopy coverings. The umbrellas are constructed in another location and then carted in.

The point of the project is to protect the escalators from weather and improve their reliability. The umbrellas also will shield those of us who ride the escalators from the elements and, hopefully, protect us from having to march up and down steps just when we least want to … wearing work clothes and uncomfortable but attractive work shoes.

It’s difficult to judge yet exactly what the finished umbrellas will look like — construction fencing and scaffolding is necessary but not particularly site enhancing — but given these recent photos, it looks like the effect will be nice.

Metro’s contractor continues to work on construction of the two canopies for the Civic Center station, which should be ready this fall. In the meantime, one of the escalators at the Civic Center First Street Station is out of service due to construction. So unless you’re StairMaster addicted, when you depart the Red or Purple line at Civic Center you might want to head for the Temple Street exit.

Pershing Square, by the way, doesn’t look like there’s anything umbrella related going on. But we’ll keep you posted as the project progresses.

7 replies

  1. Will both portals at Westlake/MacArthur Park be getting a canopy or only the one?

  2. But maybe Metro should have picked a pleasing design. It looks heavy, chunky and bulky. It belongs on a soccer stadium not a subway entrance. With all the inspiring design found at metro stations around the globe, Metro could have done better. Metro has done a great job designing the interiors of stations. Why couldn’t they find a better design? I live 3 blocks from MacArthur park and am sad I’ll have to look at that ugly design every day. I would rather they build a building over the station.

  3. Canopies are great! I still wish metro had better signage indicating that two lines run in certain areas. Maybe the canpoies can hold signs and displays?

  4. When is Metro going to fix the station canopy at Aviation Station? Whenever it rains, water streams down the metal supports and then drips straight onto the station platform. Aviation Station is the gateway for many riders to the Metro system and it deserves to be something more than a great big puddle during the rains.

  5. Los Angeles,

    Nah, that’s too capitalist for LA Metro’s sake. Rather than make the obvious decisions as you and others have been proposing, Metro is obsessed with using tax funds to build parks, art space, and other things that bring in no additional revenue and cost additional tax dollars to maintain them just like all those megalomaniacal propaganda all over Pyongyang, North Korea.

  6. I’ve always been a fan of simple, sidewalk station entrances with simple roofs on them.

    But as long as Metro is going to have larger entrances, then clearly it needs to have these larger “umbrella” canopies as well.

    Putting a building on top of a station entrance wouldn’t work in all situations (Mariachi Plaza), but it does seem like that would also be a reasonable solution as well.

  7. Lived in DC a long time where uncovered escalators created perennial maintenance problems. Good fix Metro! Please make sure the design isn’t a pigeon habitat underneath or an inaccessible uncleanable clear roof collecting trash and exhaust dust. If it is a dirty clear roof thousands of people will will look up and say to themselves “yuck”. The high style designs are great but often impracticable to maintain later.

    A better solution?…. Sell air rights and put buildings above EVERY station with partial open first floors. Solves weather issue, adds possible transit destinations, increases potential ridership, and leasing rights can pay revenue to Metro. Maybe even some room left for covered bike-stations and bike racks.