Hermon - It's been more than four decades since Hermon Avenue was replaced in favor of Via Marisol, named after some long-ago city councilman’s kid. But now there's a move in support of another name change, back to Hermon Avenue.
The Hermon Neighborhood Council allocated up to $5,000 at its last meeting to try changing the name of Via Marisol back to Hermon Avenue, at least along the half-mile stretch that runs within the neighborhood (Via Marisol continues into the adjacent Monterey Hills neighborhood). The money would cover all application costs, if there are any, said Lee Turner, the new Chair of the Hermon Neighborhood Council.
“I love my neighborhood and feel strongly that restoring the name of Hermon Avenue would return a precious community identifier and help us continue to increase Hermon's recognition and sense of neighborhood identity,” said Turner.
The L.A. City Council would ultimately have to approve the name change.
“We are still in the very early stages of this effort,” Turner said, “though the idea has been in Hermon since the original name change in 1978.”
That was the year City Councilman Arthur Snyder, a four-term representative and a large personality in this city’s history, got the street named after his three-year-old daughter, Erin Marisol, according to KCET.
Until then, the street, like the neighborhood, was named after Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, a mountain cluster, on the border between Syria and Lebanon, that makes several appearance in the Bible. The name was a legacy of the Free Methodists who had founded the community in 1903.
Snyder reasoned that other street names in the neighborhood - as well as the architecture - were Spanish. So the name Hermon “would have a jarring influence on the theme.”
Via Marisol or Hermon Avenue?
Local residents disagreed. But, as the Los Angeles Times noted in 2003, “There were only about 2,500 of them at the time and their tiny number didn't carry much weight at City Hall.”
When residents convinced Caltrans to at least add the neighborhood name near Via Marisol exit sign off the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the name was misspelled as “Herman,” said the Times.
Snyder left the City Council in 1985, became a City Hall lobbyist, was eventually convicted of campaign finance violations in 1996, and later went into the restaurant business. He died in 2012.
It’s not clear whatever happened to his daughter, Erin-Marisol, but she would be in her mid-40s at this point.
In the meantime, Hermon is still stuck with the street name.
“Our goal would be for the name restoration to coincide with the completion of the City's major renovation of the street and sidewalks of that stretch of the avenue,” Turner said, “which is currently scheduled for completion by the middle of 2022.”