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Lady Liberty Could Get a New Home in El Monte

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El Monte (aka "The End of the Santa Fe Trail") is looking to relocate its civic center to an entirely new location--councilmembers this week voted to enter a contract with Graprevie Advisors LLC to explore options for moving the civic center closer to downtown El Monte. (Could that spell doom for one of the tackiest displays of patriotism by a city government anywhere--the mini Statue of Liberty?) According to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the city's leaders think the civic center is "aging, too small to accommodate the growth of El Monte's population...and sits on 'prime real estate' right off the 10 freeway and Valley Boulevard that could better serve businesses who might want to move into El Monte."

One possibility on the table is to incorporate the civic center into the El Monte Gateway project around the El Monte bus station. That project includes 652 units of housing in a mixed-use development, but it was a redevelopment agency project, so its future is uncertain now that redevelopment is dead. Grapevine Advisors will also consider options that will allow other public agencies to share space in a new facility. As for that statue, it's fiberglass and has stood in front of city hall since 1987. "Dr. Jiiang T. Wang, a physician and Taiwanese immigrant...donated the statue to the city in 1986. He had obtained the statue from friends in Taiwan in exchange for forgiving a $50,000 debt," according to a 2002 LA Times article.
· El Monte to evaluate feasibility of building new civic center near downtown area [SGVT]
· A Second Chance in El Monte [Curbed LA]