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Downtown Gateways

VIII Design Standards

    1. Downtown Gateways

      Gateways mark the passageway into or out of El Segundo’s Downtown. These entry points, or gateways, should be indicated by their tall vertical elements and a richness of detail at the street level. Palm trees are proposed as the vertical element of three of these gateways, as they are regional in scale and serve to visually mark the location. The intersections themselves should be richly appointed and are meant to appeal to pedestrians, transit riders, and occupants of vehicles. In addition to the vertical palms, elements of the Gateways should include street trees and other landscaping, enhanced street paving and striping, enhanced sidewalks, signage, architectural lighting and particular attention to the form and mass of buildings at the corners of the Gateway intersections.

      Existing entryway signage exists at the intersections of El Segundo Boulevard and Main Street, and El Segundo Boulevard and Richmond Street. This signage is provided by the Chevron Oil Co. and while it has well served the Downtown up to now, it is felt a more formal signage program is needed for the Downtown.

      Four intersections have been selected as Gateways and are described below:

      1. Main Street and Grand Avenue - (Photo 35)

        Photo 35 – Main Street and Grand Avenue

        1. Main Street and Grand Avenue is the primary intersection in Downtown. The special elements of the intersection are its adjacency to the Civic Center, the intersection of the wide Grand Avenue with busy Main Street, and the Pursell Building with its diagonal entrance and mini-tower at the corner. (Diagram 16)

        DIAGRAM 16

      2. Concord Street and Grand Avenue -

        1. The intersection of Concord Street and Grand Avenue is located at the crest of a hill west of the core of Downtown. The crest of the hill effectively creates a visual barrier, beyond which nothing is seen. As Grand Avenue is Downtown El Segundo’s only street to and from the beach, this westerly entry is important in marking the boundaries of Downtown. (Diagram 17)

        DIAGRAM 17

      3. Main Street and Mariposa Avenue -

        1. The intersection of Main Street and Mariposa Avenue marks the northern entry into Downtown. To the north of the intersection are the stately El Segundo High School and the City’s Public Library. (Diagram 18)

        DIAGRAM 18

      4. Grand Avenue and Eucalyptus Drive -

        1. The intersection of Grand Avenue and Eucalyptus Drive is the easterly transition into the Downtown. This area has large mature Ficus trees in the median which are proposed to remain at this time, which create an effective visual statement as an entry into the Downtown, so palm trees are not proposed in this location. Other landscape treatments and entry signage could be used in area to announce entry into the Downtown and create a cohesive theme. (Photo 36)

        Photo 36 – Grand Avenue and Eucalyptus Drive

        Photo 37 – Pursell building - Corner treatment

      5. Site Planning -
        1. Corner Treatments:

          Buildings on corners form the walls of the intersection. The best example of how this is done in the City of El Segundo is the Pursell Building on the corner of Main Street and Grand Avenue. This structure was specifically designed as an important building on the most important corner in Downtown El Segundo. The building salutes the corner with its tower and diagonal entrance. Standards include:

          1. Corner Buildings - (Photo 37)

            1. Corner buildings shall be a minimum of two stories in height and be topped with an integral tower or cutout at the primary corner. (S)
            2. Entry to the corner building shall orient to the corner. (S)
            3. The building mass on the long sides of corner buildings is to be articulated into a series of 25-30 foot modules of retail space along the street face. The modulation is to extend to the upper floors as well. (S)
            4. The buildings are to comply with all other standards, as specified within the district in which they are located. (C)
          2. Landscaping -

            1. At least three Washingtonia palms (Washingtonia filifera) or similar tall vertical Palm trees, should be located at each corner of the entry point intersections (Main/Grand, Concord/Grand, and Main/Mariposa). (S)
            2. Street trees of the intersecting streets should be incorporated into the outer edge of the intersection design. (S)
            3. Special flowering or decorative trees should be located at the intersection in lieu of the regular street trees. (S)
            4. Low shrubs, ground covers, and colorful annual flowers are encouraged at the intersection. (S)
          3. Street Paving -

            1. aa. Pedestrian crossings should be constructed of a contrasting material or color of the same paving material. (S)
            2. bb. Pedestrian crossings should have a relatively small-grained texture. (S)
          4. Pedestrian crossings should be integrally designed with the rest of the intersection. (S)
          5. Sidewalks and Pedestrian Amenities -

            1. Sidewalk/curb extensions should be provided at the four corners of the intersection. (S)
            2. Please see "Street Configuration - Curb Extensions" for the Main Street District for additional guidelines. (C)
            3. Signage -
            4. Unique entryway signage should be developed and placed strategically to announce gateways and attract pedestrians into the Downtown. (C)
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