Phase 2 of Metro Expo Line Promises to Bring Big Changes to Bergamot

With the completion of construction on Phase 2 of the Metro Expo Line, which is scheduled for early 2016 and will extend the light-rail line to downtown Santa Monica, the portion of Silicon Beach including Bergamot Place and Bergamot Station looks to become a zone of increased pedestrian activity and decreased traffic. That’s because one of the seven new Expo Line rail stations coming in as part of Phase 2, the 26th Street/Bergamot station, will be located immediately north of the Bergamot Station arts complex, bringing passengers right to the doorstep of the Bergamot area.

Once the second phase of the Expo Line is completed, the line will have a total length of 15.2 miles, with an anticipated travel time of 46 minutes — even during rush hour — from downtown L.A. (where the line originates) to the final stop in downtown Santa Monica, and will be the first extension of Metro Rail service to L.A.’s Westside.

The Expo Line project in its entirety is just one part of what amounts to a major investment in public transportation throughout Los Angeles County, and its completion will represent the end result of over 20 years of collaboration and planning between multiple jurisdictions in the county.

It is expected that the 26th Street/Bergamot station will contribute to a noticeable reduction of gridlock in Silicon Beach, which has seen a growing number of commuter vehicles congesting its roads in recent years as it increasingly becomes a highly attractive location for businesses, especially tech firms and entertainment companies, to set up shop. At the same time, it is anticipated that it will bring more visitors to Bergamot Station to enjoy the wealth of artistic offerings on display there.

Along with the 26th Street/Bergamot rail station, Silicon Beach will see a new Expo Line maintenance facility at Olympic Boulevard and Stewart Street, just east of Bergamot Place and Bergamot Station. That facility is currently under construction and is scheduled to be completed in 2015. Currently in the planning stages is a buffer park to be created adjacent to the facility in order to minimize visual and environmental impacts and provide benefits to the surrounding community. Construction on the park is anticipated to begin in 2015 following completion of the maintenance facility.


Bergamot Station Showcases Diverse Art Exhibitions During Summer 2014

With over 30 art galleries as well as the Santa Monica Museum of Art on the premises displaying their wares, it’s pretty much safe to say that at any given time Bergamot Station has something for everyone when it comes to artistic offerings. And summer 2014 is certainly no exception, as a multitude of exhibitions are being showcased at the facility during this period, providing visitors with an opportunity to survey a diverse range of works and find their favorites while enjoying a welcome respite from the seasonal heat outside.

One notable summer exhibition is “In-Situ” at the Shoshana Wayne Gallery. It features five emerging Los Angeles artists who have never before been shown at the gallery, working in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, conceptual art and found objects. The pieces on display in the exhibition invite viewers to ponder the relationship between place and identity, and with each one the artist takes a given material, repurposes or reimagines it, and in the end imbues it with new life and new meaning. The exhibition runs until Aug. 30.

Another notable exhibition is entitled “My Little Boat of Sorrow,” and it’s showing at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery. It includes pieces by seven artists, working in mediums such as sculpture, painting, drawing, video and sound, and it explores that particular sentiment which seems to lie halfway between sadness and distress — sorrow. This exhibition runs until Aug. 9.

And for something completely different, there is the solo photography exhibition entitled “Murray Garrett: Hollywood Redux” running at the Robert Berman Gallery until Aug. 23. Featuring a selection of vintage black-and-white photos of major entertainment figures during the golden age of Hollywood — including some pictures that have never been seen before by the public — the exhibition offers revealing images of such iconic individuals as Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra and serves as a testament to the sophistication and style of a specific period in American cinematic history.

In addition to the aforementioned exhibitions, there are scores of others taking place this summer at Bergamot Station. Except possibly for occasional special events, admission to all the exhibitions featured at the arts complex is free. For more information on what’s showing, visit