A sign of the past briefly shines over Echo Park

Photo by Christine Peters

The sign atop the 1924 Jensen’s Recreation Center in Echo Park was turned on tonight for the first time in several years. The light show, however, was only temporary and was part of testing being conducted to check on repairs being made to the sign, which is composed of about 1,300 white, red and green bulbs.  A date to permanently relight the sign, a project sponsored by the Echo Park Historical Society* and the Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council, has not been set. Meanwhile, on Figueroa Street in Highland Park, the Highland Theatre sign and its 524 bulbs are scheduled to be switched back on May 17 following extensive repairs and renovations. Both the Jensen’s Recreation Center and Highland Theatre signs are located on Historic Route 66.

* The Eastsider is a board member of the society.


  1. The Highland Theatre sign lighting ceremony is Tuesday, May 15 at 7 PM.
    Come to the Farmers Market between Ave. 57 and 58 by the Gold Line and join the fun.

  2. Heading home from the Dodgers game and seeing the Jensen’s sign lit up made me so happy. Thanks to all involved in the project!

  3. The EP Historical Society should get a local solar company to give them a screaming deal on a few panels to run the sign in exchange for a lighting ceremony thrown by the society, during which company members promote their wares and services. You know, all green-like and whatnot, says the Peanut Gallery.

  4. i agree with ty! light pollution at the cost of 1300 bulbs is sort of an energy sync that is not cool by todays standards. i realize its not as important as the color someone paints their historic house, but am surprised is not an issue the sponsoring organizations are dealing with.

  5. What a waste of tax payer dollars we can’t afford to throw away!!!!! Way are we the public paying to improve a privately held commerical building.???? how is the public or community being helped out. ???? the money being used to relight that dang sign could be used to help sponsor kids to the rec center, or supplies to this summers after school H.S programs. strange what SOME people call art! City is BROKE people are taking forced days off and here we are throwing away money. Who benefits, PLEASE ANSWER.

  6. @anon, where does the article mention taxpayer money? Is the historical society funded by taxpayer dollars? The neighborhood council? This appears to be a use of private funds.

  7. Reading or making sense of the article would get in the way of making a completely ignorant and off base statement.

  8. The neighborhood council funding is tax-payer funds provided by the City of Los Angeles to invest in the community in a variety of ways in a public and transparent forum. The allocation and the merits of this project was voted on in a public meeting.

    The Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council Board of Governors voted to allocate funds in the form of a neighborhood purposes grant to the historical society to assist in relighting the historic sign.

    We believe this is a wise and prudent investment and use of neighborhood council funds. The relighting of the sign will not only literally light up the neighborhood but also generate interest and serve as an attraction to bring people to the neighborhood who will in turn shop and dine in our local businesses. Many of our local businesses will benefit from the relighting.

    We felt this was a win for the community and businesses in Echo Park.

    I thank the historical society for their leadership in making this happen.

    If any one (anon) is interested in the kids at the Echo Park Recreation Center, sign up for the weekly Zumba classes. Thanks to the Silver Lake Medical Center 100% of the proceeds from community participation goes to the center’s athletic scholarship fund for local kids.

    To date we have raised almost $ 1,ooo.00 dollars for scholarships.

    If anon is serious about helping kids, then I hope to see anon let loose at Zumba for Scholarships.

    Anon, here is the link form more information about the program: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Fy7EKiQs3sH7O1QobHqvCUWjstCXs9pT6PqzxQoIHaM


    Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council

  9. Thank you Jose! Thank you for your continued efforts in this community. (For those who are not familiar with Jose, you should know that he spends his free time/ vacations & days off doing things for our neighborhood like painting Logan Street Elementary. Organizing and participating in park and neighborhood clean ups). He is a great guy and if you spend a day working with him on one of these projects you will be inspired to do more for your neighbor.
    I see the re-lighting of the sign as a sort of gift for the people and businesses of Echo Park. It is something nice to look at and for some reason that can lead to pride, and pride is what fuels the success of a community.

  10. I fully support the sign lighting. Thanks EPHS! My $25 has gone to the EPHS for this effort.

  11. when your disabled you can’t Zamba my dear. Give me something I can do like going to yesterdays Elysian Hts. school fundraiser with tickets and silent auction I have served my community well w/ $$$$, isn’t what’s it’s about raising money?. We lack a Senior / Disabled program in the rec center I’m sure would be well attended if ever started. As for private funds, there’s better things to do than light up signs to promote private enterprise. I see it from a totally different place than you. So let’s say we choose to disagree, no hard feelings. To Sigala: I work with kids hands on in the community, just because you don’t hear about it doesn’t mean I’m not involved so don’t assume. David, I’ll keep my $25 dollars to buy craft supplies and ask the kids to come over and paint or craft, am starting a crochet circle, and an excerise class for the older disabled from my home during the summer, is this involved enough for you??? and I don’t receive funding from anyone, I do it cause I love to help people. Don’t need your neighborhood council to do what I do.

  12. Well today is May 11th, I’m still waiting for a response, I guess you can’t gave me an honest answer. WELCOME To Echo Park. To S: Sigala is such a nice guy he battered a woman sometime last year right. You really should check out who you call nice. Read about here in previous issue’s of this blog.

  13. The EP Historical Society should get a local solar company to give them a screaming deal on a few panels to run the sign in exchange for a lighting ceremony thrown by the society, during which company members promote their wares and services…AND the Eastsider could cover it!

    You know, all green-like and whatnot, says the Peanut Gallery…again.

  14. Thank you for the idea, ty.

    I personally am completely in favor of making historic structures as energy efficient as possible.

    We’d love to have your assistance in making something like this happen.

    Kevin Kuzma
    Echo Park Historical Society
    (213) 840-2583

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