Verizon wants to plant a clock tower instead of a fake tree in Glassell Park

Verizon's new clock tower proposal.

Monopine plan abandoned

Last week’s showdown between Verizon wireless, which wants to build a 70-foot high Glassell Park cell phone tower disguised as a fake pine tree,  and residents who were pushing for alternative designs ended with a surprise result. After months of standing by its fake tree, or monopine, Verizon submitted a last-minute proposal before a city planning commission to disguise the antenna as a Streamline Moderne-style clock tower that would rise along the northbound 2 Freeway at the San Fernando Road exit.   “It’s okay with me,” said Andrew Montealegre, who lead the fake-tree opponents and appealed a city zoning decision that backed Verizon’s monopine plan.  “Now we are going to see if we can get a name placed on it.”

Montealegre said Verizon’s change of design was unexpected and a surprise to him, City Council staff and members of the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission, which held a hearing last Wednesday to review the appeal Montealegre and two other Glassell Park residents had filed. Montealegre and others  have pressed Verizon  for more creative solutions, including a tower topped with abstract angels or shaped like glass tubes – similar to those at LAX – that would welcome motorists to Glassell Park.  A video created in support of monopine alternative said having the tower double as a gateway sign for Glassell Park could help raise the neighborhood’s visibility and image.

Montealegre said the commissioners  at last Wednesday’s hearing said they has just been notified of  the new clock tower proposal themselves. As a result, the commissioners postponed a decision until April 25, Montealgre said. Meanwhile,  on Thursday, March 22, Verizon officials are scheduled to attend a meeting of the Glassell Park Neighborhood Council’s land use committee to review the clock tower design.  Montealegre and others would like the Glassell Park name to somehow be included on the structure but everyone involved have to figure out a way to do that without running afoul of the city’s sign and billboard ordinances.

“We will be entertaining ideas on not making it a ‘sign’ but calling it something else or making it an art piece,” said Montealegre, who sits on the land use committee . “I’m leaning to calling it a community marker.”


  1. Long as there is no cleverly disguised scheme to wage Class Warfare against nesting Raptors and retiree Doves @? .. I`m fine with the Clock Tower !

  2. Sweet! Now we will know what time it is!

  3. I love time!

  4. Better to have a fake pine tree than a cheap looking tower. Thanks, idiots.

  5. I’m so glad they’re building this – I need it to power my DeLorean but I’m worried that I won’t be able to get up to 88 mph to power my flux capacitor.

  6. Wow, Bill. It’s really sad when the only way you can disagree is by calling names. The clock tower is a good, traditional answer; don’t “disguise” the tower; make it useful.

  7. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there could be some mosaic designs on it? Then it could be a real “watts” tower! I think it’s good that Verizon was willing to think more creatively. If we as cell phone users (and clearly there are many, many of us in LA) want continued and increased service, we have to be willing to deal with the necessities of that service – like these large antennae. If we can make them look less ugly, all the better.

  8. I, Ron, have been staying away from this ‘hot button’ hole of an issue. But I feel it is my duty as one who is aspiring towards ‘long time resident’ and possible ‘OG’ to speak my wisdom, if not with my mouth, then with my pen, which is mightier than the saber. By a long shot.

    Here goes: I think we should build condos there, and then the people who need the cell tower will be close enough together that they can simply shout out to one another. This way the air will be conserved for the sound of human voices, and not for the hum of cellular vibrations.

    Anyone looking at the truth behind my truisms will be also aware that there is a double edge to my conservation efforts – it will be a very ‘green’ solution as there will be no fossil fuels used to shout the messages. Plus, our vocal emissions are made right here in the U.S.A. and not in some partially fabricated hell-hole factory complex in bad ‘ol China (of not united states)

    My third point of the extremely strong triangle (the strongest shape!) is that we would have outsmarted the gentrification artists by building condos on prime real-estate before they do! Plus, if we let Garcetti know we want condo’s instead of a tree disguised as a clock tower he’ll be onboard pronto!

    Failing this, as always, we can ‘occupy’ the site until we get the condo’s we demand (and need).

    Who’s with me?

  9. Those fake trees never fool anyone (pine or palm). But at least after a while they start to blend into the scenery because we start to ignore them. A clock tower however could become a graffiti magnet and an eyesore. If Verizon really cares about the community and wants to use our valuable real estate to boost its signal strength, then have them build a community center, a low cost housing complex, or something else that would benefit the community and then stick their tower on top of it! Better yet, they should take a bit of the billions of dollars they will make in revenue this year and buy one of the many blighted blocks in the area, renovate the entire thing, and “plant” as many fake trees on it as they want.

  10. Nothing says progress like an 80 year old architectural style.

  11. This is an excellent solution. Those fake trees are ugly and stand out miles away.

  12. Rather than hiding the obvious why not make it a giant model of the original Motorola Dyna Trac cell phone from the 80’s. An homage to technology that changed our lives.

  13. Meanwhile, Verizon is having the last laugh. Very often the community uproar is against the radio frequency exposure that comes from these cell sites. Here they’ve created this non-issue of “what will the tower and antenna look like”. The villagers cry that they don’t want a fake tree, they want a clock tower! Verizon “gives in”, and agrees to the villagers demands. Then the villagers think they’ve won, and they shut-up. Prepare to have your RF exposure level raised.

  14. I hope it has some loud church bells so they can enjoy the same loud ones they force me to hear. They get peace and quiet when they go home and leave the annoying loud bells for me. Now I hope they get to take them home with them.

  15. Much better. Those fake trees are horrible. This will be at least as nice as anything else in the area. Maybe it can anchor a nice little cafe or something like that. Kudos to the people who got them to do this. Wow, score one for the little guy. The only potential problem is if Verizon starts putting the same clock all over the place. ARrgghh!

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