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NEWS
February 15, 2013
Glendale art lovers and civic boosters alike can be excused this week for having a certain glow about them: At long last, the Museum of Neon Art has been given the green light to begin work on its new home. On Tuesday, the City Council approved a $1.6-million contract to revamp the city-owned structure at 216 S. Brand Blvd. into a luminous, glass-sheathed light-box of a museum. Those familiar with the project know all too well that the path has not been smooth. The museum, founded in 1981, moved out of its downtown Los Angeles digs in June 2011, lured by the promise of an improved property here financed with redevelopment money.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | November 13, 2013
Five years, so far, in the making - and facing many obstacles along the way - the Museum of Neon Art had its official groundbreaking Wednesday morning in Glendale, incorporating a fitting touch, a neon shovel. The museum, which has bounced around Los Angeles since 1981, is one step closer to putting down roots across the street from the Americana at Brand. Once it opens, it will become Glendale's first full-fledged art museum. “It's been a long haul moving from place to place and finally we're going to have a home here in Glendale,” said David Svenson, president of the museum's board of directors.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | October 11, 2012
Glendale will get its museum of neon after all. The Museum of Neon Art, which was in jeopardy of losing its $5.2-million deal to move to Glendale, will move forward as planned, according to Philip Lanzafame, the city's officer for economic development and asset management. After a closed - session meeting on Wednesday at City Hall, the board in charge of winding down redevelopment-related obligations and assets decided to honor the city's commitments to Los Angeles-based MONA, which would have faced homelessness if the deal had fallen through.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | February 13, 2013
The City Council on Tuesday approved a $1.6-million construction contract for the long-awaited Museum of Neon Art, sealing a marquee addition to the downtown corridor that had been jeopardized by the dissolution of local redevelopment. Construction on the building across from the Americana at Brand is now set to begin in April - and MONA's executive director, Kim Koga, said she couldn't be more excited. “I can't wait for the building,” Koga said. The museum, which has seen its share of controversy since it was first approved in 2011, was on the line after state lawmakers took over redevelopment assets from local agencies to close a multibillion-dollar budget gap in February 2012.
BUSINESS
By Melanie Hicken | September 16, 2009
CITY HALL — The Los Angeles-based Museum of Neon Art could move into a vacant, city-owned building across from the Americana at Brand under a proposed agreement that, if successful, would represent one the largest cultural jolts to downtown in years. The City Council on Tuesday is scheduled to take up the proposed letter of intent, which would kick off formal negotiations with the niche museum for the space at 216 S. Brand Blvd. The vacant building, which once housed a Salvation Army branch and a Rite Aid, would afford the museum a new permanent space for its venerable collection of neon signs and art after using a temporary spot in downtown Los Angeles for roughly two years.
NEWS
March 30, 2010
The Los Angeles-based nonprofit Museum of Neon Art recently put some of its collection on display at the future site of its new home across from the Americana at Brand. The City Council last year entered into negotiations with the museum for a deal that would bring the nonprofit into the city-owned property at 216 S. Brand Blvd. Last week, the council approved an expanded proposal that would require the city to buy an adjacent building. The museum’s collection of vintage and contemporary neon art includes the historical Grauman’s Chinese Theatre dragon and the iconic Brown Derby sign.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | October 7, 2013
A plan to sell some storefronts at the downtown shopping center the Exchange but keep the Alex Theatre, an Americana at Brand open space and the building slated for the Museum of Neon Art was approved by a board of city, county and school officials this week. The city has to liquidate properties once owned by its defunct redevelopment agency as it continues to dissolve that program. State law requires transfer of the money and property once owned by redevelopment agencies throughout California to state coffers in order to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. The plan, approved at a City Hall meeting Wednesday, now goes to the state Department of Finance for final approval.
NEWS
By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com | September 27, 2013
This story has been corrected. See details below. As the state moves to liquidate the assets of dismantled community redevelopment agencies, Glendale officials are looking to put some storefronts in the Exchange and other city-owned properties up for sale but are fighting to retain control of the Alex Theatre, Museum of Neon Art and a park in the middle of the Americana at Brand. The fate of 11 Glendale properties was laid out in a plan approved Tuesday by the Glendale Successor Agency, which oversees real estate formerly controlled by Glendale's redevelopment agency.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | April 30, 2014
Construction is on track for the Museum of Neon Art, which was topped off with a 19-foot-tall red neon statue of a female diver last week, one of the many elements museum officials hope will help lure visitors to Glendale's first full-fledged art museum. The $5.2-million construction project to revamp the exterior of the 10,000-square-foot building that will house the museum is expected to be complete by the end of April or early May, said Phil Lanzafame, Glendale's economic development director.
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NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | April 30, 2014
Construction is on track for the Museum of Neon Art, which was topped off with a 19-foot-tall red neon statue of a female diver last week, one of the many elements museum officials hope will help lure visitors to Glendale's first full-fledged art museum. The $5.2-million construction project to revamp the exterior of the 10,000-square-foot building that will house the museum is expected to be complete by the end of April or early May, said Phil Lanzafame, Glendale's economic development director.
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NEWS
By Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com | March 21, 2014
Known for its flickering neon sign that animates a hammer striking a shoe heel, Zinke's Shoe Repair will soon be leaving Glendale for Pasadena after more than 65 years in business. The name Zinke's has been in use since 1919, but the store's location at 119 W. California Ave. was built in 1941. The distinctive sign went up in the 1950s, said Mike Ramirez, who started working at Zinke's 42 years ago and eventually took over ownership. He said April 26 would likely be the last day the business would be open.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | January 31, 2014
Last year, Glendale completed about $36 million in capital improvement projects, and city officials plan for roughly $78 million worth of projects this year and in 2015, according to City Engineer Roubik Golanian. The projects, which include improvements to parks, streets and a library, have been able to continue despite the city's financial struggles because of outside funding sources, such as Measure R - a 2008 half-cent sales tax administered by Los Angeles County - as well as federal and state grants and gas taxes.
NEWS
December 31, 2013
Though it's only the first day of the new year, the calendar is already packed for the Jewel City. A plastic bag ban goes into effect this year, the Museum of Neon Art is slated to open, the city looks to see how Chief Robert Castro will run the police department, and a crop of new fire recruit begins its training. On the legal front, the criminal trial of former Councilman John Drayman is set to begin, the federal discrimination lawsuits brought by four Glendale police officers are on schedule, and the parents of Drew Ferraro - who took his life in 2012 - look to their day in court against the Glendale Unified School district.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | November 13, 2013
Five years, so far, in the making - and facing many obstacles along the way - the Museum of Neon Art had its official groundbreaking Wednesday morning in Glendale, incorporating a fitting touch, a neon shovel. The museum, which has bounced around Los Angeles since 1981, is one step closer to putting down roots across the street from the Americana at Brand. Once it opens, it will become Glendale's first full-fledged art museum. “It's been a long haul moving from place to place and finally we're going to have a home here in Glendale,” said David Svenson, president of the museum's board of directors.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | October 17, 2013
The storage units look like arcade graveyards. The machines are unplugged, lined up against the wall and the marquees that once flashed, inviting people to play Ms. Pacman or Galaga, now look more like gravestone inscriptions, dusty and scratched. The city of Glendale has owned the roughly 50 arcade machines for nearly three years and officials want to get rid of them. The problem is, they can't because of a state law. When Glendale bought the building that housed Video West Arcade across from the Americana at Brand three years ago for the proposed Museum of Neon Art, the former owner sold them everything for about $1 million - the building, the arcade machines, cashier equipment, even a gumball machine and a microwave oven.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | October 7, 2013
A plan to sell some storefronts at the downtown shopping center the Exchange but keep the Alex Theatre, an Americana at Brand open space and the building slated for the Museum of Neon Art was approved by a board of city, county and school officials this week. The city has to liquidate properties once owned by its defunct redevelopment agency as it continues to dissolve that program. State law requires transfer of the money and property once owned by redevelopment agencies throughout California to state coffers in order to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. The plan, approved at a City Hall meeting Wednesday, now goes to the state Department of Finance for final approval.
NEWS
By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com | September 27, 2013
This story has been corrected. See details below. As the state moves to liquidate the assets of dismantled community redevelopment agencies, Glendale officials are looking to put some storefronts in the Exchange and other city-owned properties up for sale but are fighting to retain control of the Alex Theatre, Museum of Neon Art and a park in the middle of the Americana at Brand. The fate of 11 Glendale properties was laid out in a plan approved Tuesday by the Glendale Successor Agency, which oversees real estate formerly controlled by Glendale's redevelopment agency.
NEWS
By Dan Evans, dan.evans@latimes.com and By Dan Evans, dan.evans@latimes.com | August 11, 2013
About five years ago, a Burbank friend of mine dragged me out the house one night for an esoteric piece of only-in-Los-Angeles weirdness called the "Neon Cruise. " We shambled to the top a rickety double-decker bus, insulated against the fall cold by a flask of Bushmills and some blankets and listened to a tall, energetic and deeply funny man describe the histories of the gas-filled, glass-tube signs in downtown Los Angeles and a half-dozen other neighborhoods. It was a blast, truly, and I've often wondered why I haven't been back.
NEWS
By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com | June 18, 2013
The project costs for a Central Library revamp have ballooned from $10 million to $15 million, and while the City Council on Tuesday agreed the renovations are necessary to revive the city's core, they didn't make a decision on how to fill the funding gap because two members were absent. Officials plan to discuss funding options again in two weeks but it may be difficult to reach a consensus because the three council members who were present differed in their approaches to the problem.
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