New Veterans Plaza Opens in Heart of Old Town Newhall
The City will celebrate the grand opening for its Veterans Historical Plaza on Saturday, May 28, 2005 at 10 a.m. at the project site, 24275 Walnut Street, located at the corner of Market and Walnut Streets in Old Town Newhall.
The Veterans Historical Plaza includes water features, over 50 trees, themed lighting, flags from each of the five branches of the military plus the U.S. and California flags, and a brick walkway.
“Of the hundreds of public places and facilities throughout Los Angeles County devoted exclusively to honoring veterans, the Santa Clarita Veterans Historical Plaza is one of the largest and most significant to be created in the last 50 years,” commented Mayor Cameron Smyth.
The Veterans Historical Plaza has been several years in the planning stages. In 2000, the City was able to purchase the property through state funding made possible by then Assemblyman George Runner. A total of $250,000 was acquired through the Department of Veteran’s Affairs for land acquisition of the one-half acre site in Newhall.
The groundbreaking event on Veterans Day will elected officials, members of the military and local residents. Additionally, boy scouts from the William S. Hart district will present the colors.
In 2001, the Santa Clarita City Council authorized the public participation process that was the basis for the ultimate design. In July of 2004, the Council authorized the funding for construction of the project. To date, the City has received donations and commitments from various businesses and organizations totaling over $50,000, which will be used to construct the plaza.
The Historical Veterans Memorial Committee is raising additional funds through the sale of inscribed bricks for public art that will eventually be placed on the plaza. The City will continue to add commemorative “war art” as funds are raised for these projects.
The design of the Plaza evokes images of a formal Victorian garden. This is visible in the symmetry of the layout, as well as in the details and finished of the structures and equipment.
“It was the goal of the design team to create a place of serenity and reflection in the middle of a bustling city,” commented Rick Gould, Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services for the City of Santa Clarita.