August 14, 2018
What: The re-lighting of the largest articulating incandescent spectacular sign in Los Angeles, situated on top of the historic Jensen’s Recreation Center Building in Echo Park.
Jensen’s Recreation Center was one of the first buildings in Los Angeles to feature a mix of residential and entertainment uses and was declared a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument in 1998. When built in 1924, it included a bowling alley and billiards parlor. The 17’ x 28’ animated sign made up of 1,300 red, green and white light bulbs on the building rooftop, which depicts a bowler throwing a strike has been inoperable for most of the past 50 years. It is believed to be the only sign of this type and size remaining in the United States.
When: Friday, October 27, 2017; 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, which culminates with flipping a giant light switch to activate the sign.
Where: Jensen’s Recreation Building 1706 Sunset Boulevard at the corner of Logan Street. Echo Park
Speakers: Mitch O’Farrell, Council member 13th District Jim Schneeweis, Echo Park Historical Society Ken Bernstein, Office of Historic Resources, City of Los Angeles Lambert Giessenger, Office of Historic Resources, City of Los Angeles Jonathan Barach, President of Vista Investment Group and Building Owner
Invited Guests: KamranV, President, Echo Park Chamber of Commerce Rhonda Reynolds, Vice President, Echo Park Chamber of Commerce Andrew Garsten, President, Echo Park Improvement Association Ted Yenawine, Chair, Echo Park Neighborhood Council Ken Bernstein, Manager and Principal City Planner, City of Los Angeles Linda Dishman, President and CEO, Los Angeles Conservancy Kim Koga, Executive Director, Museum of Neon Art Paul Greenstein, Historian Thousands of Echo Park Residents
The 50,000-square-foot brick and terracotta building was built in 1924 by business leader Henry C. Jensen, whose other Southern California landmark buildings include the Jensen’s Melrose Theater (now the Ukranian Culture Center) in Los Angeles and the Jensen’s Raymond Theater in Pasadena, which has been converted into lofts. Vista Investment Group acquired Jensen’s Recreation Center in November 2014. The repair of the rooftop sign is part of Vista’s multimillion-dollar renovation program that includes the restoration of the building’s original brick façade, new entrance and lobby, refinishing of the original hardwood floors and renovation of unit interiors. The 46 studio and one-bedroom units sit above 21,000 square feet of street level retail leased to Blue Bottle Coffee, Sage Vegan Bistro, Gingerly Witty, and Phys.Ed. Studio.
Note to Media: Credentialed media will be allowed on the roof in small groups only to photograph the sign.