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Downtown San Dimas Losing Its Cheesy Old West Motif

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Hollywood's Gower Gulch shopping plaza isn't the worst example of Old West kitsch in Southern California. Much of San Dimas's downtown looks like a second rate Frontierland, but not for long, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Even though 19 downtown buildings were built before 1930 and had (presumably) tasteful early twentieth century design touches, at least 11 of them have original facades covered with a fake Western facade (old-timey signs, lots of wood)--the tackiness was installed in the early 1970s under a proposal made by a college student interning with the city. What's especially odd is that San Dimas didn't start as a frontier town; rather it grew thanks to its citrus crop (clementine theme!). The city recently approved $225,000 to remove the Western touches on five of the 11 buildings--more improvements were planned before the city redevelopment agencies were killed off--with the businesses paying back part of the construction costs. Work starts next week and everyone seems pleased, except for the fact that the area's wood sidewalks, which eat high heels, will remain for now.
· San Dimas preparing to ditch Old West theme in downtown [SGVT]