Lincoln Park landmark gateway gets some TLC but what about Flo?

Repairs underway at the Lincoln Park Gateway

Damaged Florence Nightingale statue goes unrepaired

It was three years ago that Lincoln Heights residents celebrated the $390,000 restoration of the The Lincoln Park Gateway, an Art Deco-style ceremonial entrance on the north edge of Lincoln Park.  On Wednesday, conservation workers were back at the gateway scraping mineral deposits off the decorative tile and preparing to patch and fill holes in a maintenance and repair project that could take about a week to complete,  according to one worker.  But while the gateway on the north side of the park was getting some TLC, on the south side of Lincoln Park, another landmark  remained broken and neglected.

A statue of Florence Nightingale, one of the pioneers of modern nursing,  looks could also use some repairs.  The hands of the 1937 statue  that had been broken off several years earlier have been replaced by a new set that are attached to the figure’s arm’s with wire.  The statue that overlooks Lincoln Park Lake looks better  than it did seven years ago in a video that shows it covered with graffiti and its hands broken off.  The remarks on the video offer some hope that “Flo” will eventually see better days:

At 70 years old she looks pretty bad. Her hands and her trusty lamp are missing. She has been vandalized and restored more than once here at Lincoln Park. I bet her missing parts are in the bottom of the lake. Hope this starts a “Save the Flo” campaign.


  1. Echo Park resident

    Would love to see LIncoln Park get the same TLC (and enthusiasm from locals) like the EP Lake rehab brought. How sad that people cannot even respect a historic statue at this beautiful park.

  2. Agree — when EP Lake was still under wraps and fenced off I visited Lincoln, Hollenbeck and MacArthur to get perspective on the other great LA park-lakes. I was unpleasantly jolted. Knew MacArthur would be as it is, trashed, barely hanging on, better than in the crack epidemic 80s, but still sad because we played there as kids (60s, when Jimmy Webb was broken-hearted and writing his classic song) and we were safe to play all day there, believe it or not.

    Lincoln is a little better, lots of fowl, some fishing, but with that dirty, green water and crumbling concrete banks. Hollenbeck is really bad off — too much fowl manure gives terrible stench on north end, water is really bad, concrete banks look like an Abrams tank ran over them, in other words they are in chunks, and are in unsafe shape. Yet, all parks mentioned are filled with people both good and bad.

    Wish all could receive 40mil. and get the makeover.

  3. Stephen Sarinana-Lampson

    The statue of Florence Nightingale – as featured in a recent Steve Lopez opinion piece in the L.A. Times – is a treasured icon in the park for those of us who grew up in the community. For literally decades, many of us here in Lincoln Heights have requested her restoration by the City, only to have those requests fall upon deaf years. The current damage seen on “Flo” – specifically the loss of her hands and torch – occurred sometime in the mid 1970’s, yet there are those who will hold the damage done over 30’s years ago as indicative of the Lincoln Heights of today. As with all communities in Northeast L.A., we certainly have our challenges. But Lincoln Heights is a neighborhood in transition and the restoration of the statue today would be a symbolic victory towards acknowledging the change we are seeing.

    Oh and this idea of Flo being moved to somewhere else – not going to happen!

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