A Vision and Dedication Comes to Life in Old Lankershim Village
By Kimberly Mack
The long awaited unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony of The Old Lankershim Village Gateway Monument took place Thursday, July 9th at 12pm at the junction of Lankershim and Cahuenga.
Presiding over the special dedication was Councilmember Tom LaBonge. The councilman was joined by Richard Bogy, past President and Chair of the Government Affairs and Community Development Committee, as well as members of the TLCC, GTLNC and Campo de Cahuenga. Also present were local businesses Mayberry Lincoln Mercury, Altobelli Jewelers, Robert Evans Photo Studio, Bungalow 3, Graffiti Palace, Dr. Cleaners and the Robert Bachelor Salon.
Councilmember Tom LaBonge presented certifications of appreciation to: Terry Davis, past President of the GTLNC; Richard Bogy; Deuk and Beth Perrin, President and Secretary of the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association; Diane McCreary, Campo de Cahuenga, Weddington Foundation and TLCC; Alice Roth, Regional District Director Office of Councilmember Tom LaBonge; and Cos and Kelly Altobelli, Chair of the Old Lankershim Village Committee for the TLCC. Salyna Cun of the Board of Public Works also attended, and delivered a proclamation of support.
In addition, Councilmember Tom LaBonge gave special mention to Officer of the Year John Catalano, and the LAFD Department stations No. 60 and 86.
“Anytime you put up a gateway, it’s special.” Councilmember Tom LaBonge told the crowd.
“We want to remember the past, and dedicate this monument to the Old Lankershim Village. We want to rediscover the rich history of this forgotten corridor.”
A corridor once owned by the Lankershim family, and in the late 19th Century, was the largest wheat exporter in the world. The Lankershim corridor also has the historic distinction of having the very first parking meter ever installed in the Los Angeles area.
Kelly Altobelli, Chair of the Old Lankershim Village Committee, commented, “It’s so exciting to finally see this happen after all the hard work everyone has done.”
Long-time business owner Mike Mayberry of Mayberry Lincoln Mercury Dealership was happy to contribute to the campaign fund for the monument.
“The area has cleaned up, and looks better than it did ten years ago. Everyone has worked very hard. We’ve been here since 1947. We’re happy to be here, and look forward to many more years.”
Glen Karkoff, owner of Graffiti Palace, has been in business on Lankershim since 1995, and will be celebrating his 15-year anniversary shortly. Glenn is proud that his shop contributes to the revenue in the area.
“Our customers come from all over, and there’s a real community feeling here.”
Robert Evans of Robert Evans Photo Studio, in business since 2001, another contributor to the campaign for re-growth, agrees with his fellow business owners.
“I like what they are doing for the area. I love the neighborhood, and easy access to the subway. I’m happy to have contributed.”
The days of the wheat ranch owned by the Lankershim family in the 1880’s may have passed, but the soil along the Lankershim corridor remains rich and ready for new roots to take hold.