L. A. Grows
I’m pretty sure people who complain about 75° January afternoons are out of their minds. More reasonable complaints about Los Angeles often include traffic, lack of parking, and sheer city size. But, there are some who have never expected Los Angeles to apologize for being itself.
There are some who have looked at this city and seen the weave of stories from which we’ve built our lives. John A. (Tony) Sheets recounts these stories in this relief mural entitled, “L. A. Grows,” on the Broadway-side of the Los Angeles Times parking structure. From the Tongva to the Trans-Continental Railroad, and from the citrus industry to city hall, Sheets tells a grand tale of one city over 150 years.
Sheets not only recognizes our past, but he also celebrates those who dedicated their lives to building a stronger platform for our future. Henry E. Huntington (Big Red Car owner), Otis Chandler (Los Angeles Times owner), John Anson Ford (24 year representative on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors), and Tom Bradley (mayor, 1973-1993) are such men whose faith in Los Angeles is encapsulated in quotes written beneath this mural:
“…I believe that Los Angeles is destined to become the most important city in this country, if not in the world.” – Henry E. Huntington, 1920
“Los Angeles… and all of Southern California is destined to become the greatest metropolitan area the world has ever known.” – Otis Chandler, 1961
“Los Angeles… has a chance to set before America an example of what a great city ought to be.” – John Anson Ford, 1979
“… More than any other city, the greatness of Los Angeles must be attributed to the ingenuity of its people.” – Mayor Tom Bradley, 1980
All of this is to say, sometimes, loving Los Angeles can be a lonely affair. But, this wall is the best pep talk an LA lover needs to keep on keeping on.