East-west Whittier Boulevard traverses two miles through the center of the City of Montebello, connecting it to neighboring East Los Angeles and Pico Rivera. Freeways, shopping malls, economic decline, single-use zoning and damage from the 1971 earthquake sapped the vitality from the corridor, including its downtown section. Freedman Tung and Bottomley (FTB) was selected to prepare a Specific Plan and subsequent streetscape improvement project. Through a public workshop process, the plan envisioned the revitalization of Whittier Boulevard through policy changes and design improvements that define and support mixed-use residential and downtown segments along the corridor and restore it as a vital heart of the City.
A particular streetscape type was designed for each segment of the corridor (including unique tree species) Each type was specifically matched with the newly designated adjacent land use, to help support new development in the segment and to create a unique sense of identity for each section of the city. Special attention was paid to create flexible-use parking plazas and wide sidewalks that could function as performance and public open space during the city’s frequent street fairs and cultural events. Custom designed street furnishings, parking signage and gateway features were installed to help define and strengthen the city’s local identity, contributing to civic pride and attracting private investment to the revitalized downtown “main street” environment.
Collaborators: Conley Consulting, AAE Inc., SFE Design Inc., Rempel Architects, Dream Engineering, Freedman Tung & Bottomley Urban Design (FTB)
Construction Cost: $10.3 Million
Awards: 2007 Project of the Year for the Southern California Chapter of the APWA