Observing Los Angeles

In praise of the Colburn School

Colburn School
In the eyes of the New York Times, the 96 students in the Colburn School conservatory on Bunker Hill "are among the finest young musicians in the world." The story, however, is not kind to the area surrounding the school, adjacent to MOCA and across Grand Avenue from the Disney Hall.

The conservatory building — 12 stories with teaching space, practice rooms, an orchestra rehearsal hall, a recital hall, a cafeteria and housing for up to 130 students — is the latest addition to the redevelopment of Bunker Hill, this city’s woefully sterile acropolis on which stand, in addition to Disney Hall, the Mark Taper Forum, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theater and the Museum of Contemporary Art....

Disney Hall’s arrival placed an architectural and acoustic gem in the heart of downtown, but it did nothing to foster street life or diversity on the hill. People drive in for cultural excursions and leave soon afterward.

Photo: Jack Coyier / NYT

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