Jim GilsonMember, USC Master Plan Advisory Committee
Vice President and General Counsel, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Jim Gilson would like to see more nature around Los Angeles, instead of the concrete tundra that dominates the city. Park space, he believes, should not be limited to the tiny green oases that exist now, but rather should be more common and widespread.
This concern about natural space led Gilson to get involved with the USC Master Plan Advisory Committee. In addition to seeing more green space in the neighborhood, Gilson would like the universitys 20-year development plan to address issues of parking, construction and aesthetics of the Exposition MTA line, and the creation of a safe atmosphere for residents and students. The most important goal of the master plan, however, is a lasting partnership between Exposition Park and the university. I would like to enhance the connection between the two campuses, Gilson said. We can reinforce each other and coordinate future development of campus and the park.
Gilsons interest in Exposition Park derives in part from his experience as vice president and general counsel for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, a post he has held for more than a decade. Currently, the museum is undergoing an $85 million renewal as part of a six-year venture that will enhance the exterior as well as update current displays and introduce new ones. Gilson also serves as administrator of the Page Museum at the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits, where he helped execute $10 million in renovations that have enhanced the appearance of the globally renowned fossil site.
Gilson believes that the universitys creation of its master plan represents an exciting period for Exposition Park and the surrounding community, and that things will only get better. It is the existence of USC that pushes the neighborhood to enhance itself, he said.