PALMDALE – A life-sized bronze statue of Palmdale’s first mayor, Larry Chimbole, will have a new home inside the Chimbole Cultural Center at the Palmdale Civic Center in January of 2017, according to city officials.
The statue was unveiled in Poncitlán Square in October 2015 by a grassroots group of Antelope Valley residents called the Local Legends Committee.
“In order to protect and preserve the statue and bench, we’re removing them and having them cleaned, repaired and powder coated at our maintenance yard,” said Palmdale City Manager Jim Purtee. “After the holidays they’ll be placed in the lobby of the Chimbole Center to greet patrons entering the center that bears Larry’s name.”
“There have been past attempts to steal and vandalize the statue,” Purtee continued. “In the new location, the statue will be protected from the elements and remain available for future generations to enjoy.”
More than 200 people witnessed the unveiling of the statue, entitled “The First Mayor,” which depicts Chimbole seated on a bench with one arm resting atop the back of the bench to encourage visitors to sit and visit with a “local legend.”
One of the 50 Grand Men who helped incorporate the City of Palmdale, Chimbole also served in World War II, was the City’s first mayor and represented the Antelope Valley as a State Assemblyman. He passed away on Nov. 10, 2015.
“The First Mayor” statue also had much local flavor in its creation. Antelope Valley resident and artist David Arroyo sketched the concept drawing, sculptor Michael DeMedina created the statue, steel fabricator Tony Murachanian created the steel bench upon which the statue sits, and powder coater John Perez colored the bench green to match the existing color-theme of Poncitlán Square. Palmdale.
Public Works employees assisted in placing the statue.
[Information via news release from the city of Palmdale.]