Repairs planned for vandalized Elysian Park sculpture*

One of the most photographed and playful sights in Elysian Park is a 28-foot high sculpture that includes everything from a bright orange ladder and post-modern weather vane to a palm tree and concrete arm chairs positioned to take in the view of Dodger Stadium and the downtown skyline.  But upon closer inspection, the Frank E Glass and Grace Simons Memorial  is not such a pretty sight. Vandals have tagged and scratched the metal pieces set atop concrete columns. Visitors who arrive at the hilltop memorial, dedicated to an Echo Park couple devoted to preserving the park, are often greeted with shards of broken beer bottles and other debris. The monument, however, may soon get a long over due overhaul. On Wednesday, the city’s Recreation and Parks commissioners will consider spending $28,700 to repair the 17-year-old memorial.

The repair job – which includes dismantling the memorial, removing rust and graffiti and applying multiple layers of new paint – will be conducted by the same artist who created the memorial, Echo Park sculptor Peter Shire, according to a Recreation and Parks department staff report. Money to pay for the project will come from a fund established by private donors and held in trust by the department of Recreation and Parks.

The repairs won’t keep taggers and vandals away but will make it easier to clean up the mess they leave behind.

* Update on Wednesday, March 23: The Recreation and Parks board commissioners voted unanimously to repair the sculpture.


  1. The city needs to get really serious about not only cleaning up tagging, but preventing and prosecuting the vandals. I’m so tired of every beautiful spot in the city being defaced by these losers. Zero tolerance.

  2. $28,700.00 and its just going to get tagged up again, due to the sculptures location. Here is a better idea, spend like $500.00 at the Montana Paint store, get some local artist to volunteer. Let the artist go ape sh*t, with some modern colors. Spend a little more to feed them. When it gets tagged up again repeat, but with some different colors. Take photos, and when the colors change take more photos. This could be a color changing sculpture. Build a wall for the taggers like Venice Beach did, but with a sign that says tag here D*ckheads & respect other peoples art. I’m sure that some local artist would be gain. You could probably find some artist at Walgreens who would do it.

  3. It’s not the sculptures’ fault, it’s that a**hole taggers have no respect for others property or public spaces. You know how many millions of $$ the city has to spend cleaning up this stuff? Money that could go to libraries, after school programs, etc. Sad.

  4. I’ve always hated that “sculpture” .

    That spot was a nice place to sit , than one day what looks like a disabled jacked up spacecraft crashed there !

    Take it down , drag it away and plant trees !

    C’est La Vie !

  5. I’m sure that Frank E Glass and Grace Simons were wonderful people, but seriously, before I read the caption I thought that was a photo of wreckage from the Japan tsunami.

  6. Grace Simons and her husband, Frank Glass, were truly good people, and very deeply dedicated to the welfare of the people. Grace in retirement turned to being the savior of Elysian Park, someone without whom there would very literally be no park today. I suspect if the taggers knew who they were and the things they had done and fought for, not only for the park but throughout their lives for the benefit of all the people of the world, most especially the working class and minorities, they would be in awe, so much so that they not only would not tag a monument to these people, but would have it declared a tag-free zone among all the taggers, a protected zone. They don’t know who it is they are defacing there. If they did,they would realize it was no different that defacing their mother.

    Of course, this project isn’t actually about the tagging, it is about the dismantling and repairing of the mechanisms of the moving parts and cleaning up the corrosion. Shire has been getting a stipend each month ever since the monument was built to keep it cleaned up from the graffiti.

  7. Im all for art, but $29k to clean it up? It is just going to be tagged again.
    And I think its odd they are paying the original artist to do it. You are telling me its going to cost him $29k to clean that up? That sounds like a pretty good profit in a recession where our city parks are broke. $29k in elysian park could do a lot more good.
    Why not get the community involved and clean it up for the cost of materials.
    I like Eliah’s suggestion. If its art, then why not let it evolve (or be removed alltogether).

  8. Put a big solar panel in top hooked up to ten car batteries that charge all day, then at night run that power back through the sculpture turning it into a giant bug zapper…. or tagger fryer!

    Or do what Linksys suggests – tear it down and plant trees!!!

  9. The Monument is in honor of Grace E. Simons and Frank Glass. The fund from which it was built and later maintained, was donated to the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park (CCSEP) to construct and maintain. The funds are strictly at the discretion of the CCSEP. The Monument on the Hill, if you bother to actually go there, is a unique and modern silhouette of Downtown Los Angeles from the Vistas perspective.

    The funds are not public but private and per the donors instructions,


  10. Yea please…just plant some trees!

  11. Appears from the comments that only the old time Echo Parkians care about restoring old murals or monuments. Most do not know who Ms. Grace was or could care less. Glad to hear CP that it belongs to you guys or else this too would be zapped away. OLD Echo Park vs. NEW Echo Park, at times they both suck the big one. I for one love and support Mr. Shire he has been a GREAT friend to the Latino community here in E.P. You mess with Shire , you mess’in with the whole community. ..What a crock “just plant some trees”.

  12. i was just at the monument this morning and left beyond frustrated. regardless of whether you view this sculpture as ugly or beautiful, it is a piece of art dedicated to a couple who saved a slice of nature for generations to come. that’s a simple fact that should carry weight. selfless acts like those of Glass and Simons will never be understood or appreciated by the illiterate, immature narcissists who pollute it with incomprehensible, territorial scribble. if you count yourself among the weak and the thoughtless cowards committed to destroying property (public and private) under cover of night, then i recommend you take a long walk off a short pier – it’ll be much more pleasant without you here.

  13. How do I get to the sculpture? I was there once before but can’t remember–only recall it was kind of an obscure route.

  14. Kelly, there’s a dirt path on the west edge of the Angels Point picnic area, which is right at the hairpin curve in Angels Point Road. The sculpture is at the south end of that path. Be careful, there’s a steep cliff just beyond the sculpture.

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