FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MAY 6, 2011
CONTACT: JENN STARNES, 949-724-6574
Last of Fifty-four Palm Trees Planted at Great Park
New cultural complex with art gallery and artists’ studios in tree-lined performance plaza opens July 9.
IRVINE – Orange County’s urban oasis took a huge step forward this week when the last of fifty-four full-size Canary Island Date Palms were seated at the Orange Country Great Park’s new Palm Court Arts Complex. The Palm Court Arts Complex is located near Hangar 244 and comprises two rehabilitated and repurposed former MCAS El Toro military buildings that will now be devoted to art and historical exhibitions, art production by resident artists plus indoor and outdoor special events that will make the most of this shade-filled palm lined plaza.
The Palm Court Arts Complex will officially open to the public at the “Growing the Park” Event on July 9th, 2011, which celebrates the Park’s sixth anniversary. The project features an art gallery and artists’ studios flanking a palm-lined plaza, a venue for outdoor performances and community gatherings. The Palm Court is located close to the popular Great Park Balloon and Carousel.
“These magnificent palm trees define the outdoor plaza connecting the new art gallery and artists’ studios,” said Beth Krom, Chair of the Orange County Great Park Corporation. “This summer, we’ll enjoy outdoor music and dance performances under the canopy of these magnificent trees.”
The Palm Court Arts Complex will be located between two former aviation squadron buildings originally constructed in 1943. The buildings will be transformed into a 3,900-square foot art gallery and 6,400-square foot artists’ studio space. The squadron buildings saw wartime service and later served as the Flying Leathernecks Museum until 1999 when the museum was relocated to MCAS Miramar.
The Palm Court is part of the $65.5 million Western Sector Park Development Plan that encompasses more than 200 acres of the Orange County Great Park. The plan is designed to build Park space that is diverse in use and appropriate to the funds available, resulting in more than 100 acres of active Park space. The Western Sector development — which will include soccer fields, recreation space, park-wide improvements, walking and bike trails, community gardens and a farm — is expected to be complete in 2012, with Park features being opened as they are completed. The project builds on the current Park space, which will continue to be open and active with events and programming throughout construction.
About the Great Park
The Orange County Great Park, with its 1,347-acre master plan, is the focal point of the redevelopment of the publicly-owned portion of the 4,700-acre former Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro. The Great Park is currently 27.5 acres and includes an iconic tethered helium balloon that rises 400 feet in the air, providing an aerial view of Park development. A $70 million development plan to expand the Park to more than 200 acres is currently underway. The plan will build out a core section of the Park for the most immediate and wide-ranging public benefit, including the initial components of the sports park, a 114-acre agricultural area, and an art and culture exhibition space. For more information, please go to www.ocgp.org.