By Susan Motander
Recently the Gold Line Extension Construction Authority held community open houses to answer questions about the plans for the project. Among the information provided were details of the designs for the six new stations along the 11.5-mile extension. Stations are planned for Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and two in Azusa. In addition to vehicle parking, the stations will also feature bicycle racks and lockers.
Each of the new stations will have benches, guardrails and one or two canopy areas. The individual station artists have designed artwork, specific to each station. The artists have attempted to bring elements to the stations that reflect the character of the neighborhoods that surround them.
Arcadia’s station will feature guardrails that echo the racehorse frieze at the Santa Anita Race Track. The artist, Michael David, has designed backrests for the benches that will also showcase horse racing forward. Perhaps the most noticeable feature will be the 22-foot weathervane which will showcase emblems representative of the city including racehorses, oak leaves, and, of course, the ubiquitous Arcadia peacock.
The station will be located at the northwest corner of First Avenue and Santa Clara Street and will feature a center shelter between the tracks. A two level 300 space parking structure is planned for the area just west of the station along Santa Clara Street.
Cha-Rie Tang, the Monrovia station artist, has created the sense of a mountain and stream at the entrance to the station for the Gem City of the Foothills. A large boulder rising from a “pond” of blue glass represents the mountain. The glass will also flow along walkways along with reproductions of Batchelder tiles. Similar t will also surround the bases of the columns at the station. Batchelder was an Arts and Crafts era tile maker whose tiles can be found throughout the community in its many craftsman era homes and businesses.
The Monrovia Station will have shelters on both sides with tracks running through the middle of the station. The shelter area will be located to the west of the historic Monrovia Santa Fe Station. Adjacent to the new station will be a three story parking structure to accommodate 350 cars.
The next station as the line moves eastward is in Duarte and its artwork is being created by Andrea Myklebust and Stanton Sears. As in Arcadia, the canopy area will be in the center of the tracks. The station will be just north of Duarte Road at Highland Avenue. There will be a 125-space parking lot north on Highland at the corner with Business Center Drive.
Here the artists have designed bronze pavers to be set into the walkways at the station. The pavers will depict orange blossoms, branches and fruit. The more distinctive features of the design are the three large columns at the station. Each will be 12″ tall and will be topped with capitals reflecting a different aspect of local history. One will feature designs like those on a tooled 19th century saddle. Another will depict a traditional weaving pattern of the Tongva/Gabrielino people. The third will be carved in a design of live oak leaves and acorns.
Robin Brailsford is the artist behind the designs at the Irwindale Station. She drew upon the history of “Sonoratown,” the original name of the community, in creating cut metal panels for the guardrails at the station. The names of the original founding families and the words of a ballad celebrating the city will be cut into the panels. Precast LithoMosaic™ pavers will reference images of a family tree and the geography of the region.
The station will be located below and to the east of the Irwindale Avenue overpass of the 210 Freeway. Access to the station will be from Avenida Padilla Street. There will be a 3-level 350-space parking structure built on the west side of Irwindale Avenue to accommodate station patrons.
Azusa will have two stations; the first coming from the west will be the station east of Azusa Avenue and north of Santa Fe Avenue. Alameda Avenue will be closed permanently to through traffic, as the new platforms will be built across what is now that street. There will be a 200-space parking area that is currently proposed for the area just north of the station, but an alternate site is under review. Passengers will access the Azusa-Alameda station from the west.
Here the artist, Jose Antonio Aguirre, has designed a station to serve as both an historic landmark and a gateway to Azusa. There will be gateway portals to each canopy area and they will rise to an estimated height of 20 feet. The portals will consist of stone archways topped by a metal sign inspired by the historic Azusa sign. For the bases of the columns that will support the canopies, the artist has designed mosaics in basket patterns inspired by the local San Gabriel Valley tribes.
The Azusa-Citrus Station will be located on the west side of Citrus Avenue, north of Foothill Boulevard and just steps away from both Citrus College and Azusa Pacific University. This station will have a central platform with tracks on both sides. Entrance to the station will be from the east. A 3-level parking structure is planned as well as a new traffic signal on Citrus Avenue at Foothill Boulevard.
Lynn Goodpasture, the artist at this station, has designed a glass canopy inspired by the California Fan Palm. There will also be precast concrete benches with colorful mosaic inlays in the seating surface and both sides. The mosaics will feature four different designs: Oranges & Honey Bees (to commemorate Henry Dalton’s contributions), Western Sycamore (the inspiration of Kate Slausen Vosburg’s ranch of the same name), Wild Hyacinths (for Louise Slausen MacNeil’s ranch) and Rosedale’s Beauty, a camellia (in honor of Monrovia Nursery which for year was located nearby).
Each station is an attempt to individualize the facility to reflect the community it serves.