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The City of Hollywood is a mature and built-out community, where rapid population growth has given way to a population that is stable in size but undergoing significant changes in its composition. Hollywood's racial diversity, cultural variety, and blend of the old and young are where the country is headed. Hollywood, the "City of the Future," is proud of its cultural and racial diversity. From its formal incorporation by adoption of a municipal charter on November 28, 1925, the City of Hollywood has transformed itself. Beginning as an undeveloped tract of pine forests, palmetto plants, and tangled undergrowth interspersed with tomato farms and low lying marshland, it has become the second-most populated city in Broward County and the ninth largest city in the State of Florida. Founded by the planning visionary Joseph Wesley Young, a Washington state native and former resident of California and Indiana, the original one square-mile of farmland has grown to over 28.87 square miles.

Young Circle in 2002
Young Circle in 2002

Joseph Young first arrived in South Florida in January 1920 to survey several parcels of land that would be suitable for the site of his "Dream City in Florida." Hollywood, in Joseph Young's vision, "will be a city for everyone - from the opulent at the top of the industrial and social ladder to the most humble of working people." Unique in Young's city plan was the incorporation of three large circles of land located along his planned principal boulevard. These circles became the sites of a ten-acre park (originally named Harding Circle and later renamed Young Circle), the City Hall complex (originally named City Hall Circle and later renamed Watson Circle), and a military academy (Academy Circle). Academy Circle, now Presidential Circle, is the current site of a prominent commercial structure. Having formerly lived in California, Young chose as the name of his "Dream City" the name of the Southern California town that had once been so attractive to him: Hollywood.

Young Circle in 2002
Young Circle in 1924

Young Circle Park served the community's needs well for many years, hosting favorite annual events such as the Hollywood Jazz Festival, Hispanic Fest and the Mardi Gras Festival. When the time came to renovate the park, it was given new life as one of four new ArtsParks throughout Broward Country which were funded through a unique partnership between Broward Country and the cities in which the ArtsParks are located. Broward Country's Cultural Division selected Tokyo-based artist Ritsuko Taho in 2002 to create an innovative public art project for the ArtsPark at Young Circle that would address the 21st century while still reflecting the rich history upon which the city was founded.
The ArtsPark at Young Circle is located at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Federal Highway (U.S. Route 1), between Harrison and Tyler Streets.

Young Circle ArtsPark site plan 2006

Ground Breaking

On Sunday, February 29, 2004, a groundbreaking celebration took place. Festivities started at noon and featured street entertainment, arts and crafts, kids' activities and performances and displays by the artist and the design team of the new park design and site plan. These activities took place along Harrison Street between 21st and 19th Avenues and on 20th Avenue between Hollywood Boulevard and Harrison Street.

Beginning at 2:30 pm a parade of antique automobiles led a public walking parade from the Arts Academy of Hollywood, at the intersection of 20th Avenue and Harrison Street, to the east side of the ArtsPark at Young Circle where the ceremonies and the groundbreaking were to be held. At 3 p.m., the memorial flags at the amphitheater were lowered; city, county and state dignitaries gave remarks; and then demolition of the park's amphitheater was begun to make way for the new facilities.

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(c) 2007 Ritsuko Taho, All Right Reserved