“You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard, some that you recognize, some that you’ve hardly even heard of….” So sang Ray Davies in “Celluloid Heroes,” his musical encomium to Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and he’s certainly right that the 15-block stretch between La Brea and Gower (and the three blocks of Vine between Yucca and Sunset) offers ample opportunity for stargazing and strolling. But sitting while having coffee as if you were in a café under bright blue skies? Not so much. However, that may all change, thanks to a proposal to reconfigure the Walk into a pedestrian mall like Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.
Designed by the architectural firm Gensler, the plan would reduce the number of parking and traffic lanes, and bring needed repairs to sidewalks pounded annually by the ten million or so tourists who follow the trail of five-pointed stars immortalizing Tinseltown’s greats. Most importantly, the project calls for street furnishings, including tables and chairs, which would permit sidewalk dining and drinking. Also included are five “event plazas” located near attractions such as the Pantages Theatre and Hollywood & Highland that could accommodate performances
The idea for turning the Walk of Fame into a pedestrian mall is part of the Heart of Hollywood initiative led by City Council member Mitch O’Farrell, who introduced the measure in 2018 to spur economic growth in the area through infrastructural improvements. As of now, no construction date has been set, though a public review process is expected in the coming year.