Civic facilities within a park, and park landscapes within civic buildings - these are the themes that guided the Master Planning for the City of Commerce’s Civic Center. Set into the existing Rosewood Park, four new civic buildings were planned to replace the existing, outdated facilities and permanently change the concept of “Civic Center” in the City of Commerce.
All buildings are to be set within the park landscape. Special gardens are planned within and around each building to extend each, visually and functionally, into the park. Forms of sandstone, metal and concrete will identify each building as jewels in this park space: a round Council Chamber at City Hall; the pyramidal Children’s Room at the Library; and a glass Pavilion at the Senior Citizens Center. Atrium spaces and glazed pavilions remove the visual separation between building and park.
M&AA’s involvement with the Civic Center and Rosewood Park began when the firm was engaged to prepare a Master Plan for the entire 17-acre site, including the community park. This initial planning process entailed:
- Preparation of Building Programs for all future buildings;
- A Program for all park facilities;
- Analysis of existing building conditions, traffic, parking and opportunities/constraints for site development;
- Preparation of Master Plan alternatives and associated implementation schedules and budgets for each alternative; and
- Preparation of the final Master Plan, budget and implementation schedule with detailed guidelines for the urban design concept, site plan concept, all new facilities, parking facilities and the park and landscape.
M&AA’s consultant team included over 11 engineering and planning firms in a process that lasted approximately one and one-half years. The final Master Plan resulted from a consensus building process which entailed ongoing meetings with: senior citizens; park users; pool users; Library, Recreation and Parks, and Planning Commissions; a City Staff Steering Committee; and the City Council. Meetings were held with each of the community groups and major commissions at each stage of the process: programming; opportunities and constraints; master plan alternatives; and final master plan. The City Staff Steering Committee met monthly to review the progress of the work.