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Historic civic monument expected to undergo $6-million restoration

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The Fort Moore memorial has seen better days

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Restoration of a memorial in Downtown marking the spot where, in 1847, residents of Los Angeles first raised the American flag, could start next month. The Daily News reports the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve $6 million in funding today for the restoration of a towering bas-relief on the Fort Moore Pioneer Monument.

The Fort Moore memorial also marks the spot where early residents first celebrated the first Fourth of July as part of both California and the Union. (The Declaration of Independence was read in both Spanish and English, according to KCET.)

“Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial is one of the County's most important historic civic artworks,” the Los Angeles County Arts Commission says on its website.

Plans call for the restoration to start in January.

Nearby, construction of LA Plaza Cultura Village, a big mixed-use complex that’s envisioned as a walkable link between the memorial and Union Station, is already underway.

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In addition to the bas-relief, which depicts the flag-raising, the monument includes an 80-foot tall man-made waterfall, a brick wall that stretches for more than 200 feet, and a nearly 70-foot-tall pylon with an American eagle sculpture affixed to it.

The memorial was dedicated in 1957, but the fountain only stayed on for about two decades. It was turned off as a drought-time water conservation measure in 1977 and hasn’t been turned back on since, according to the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

The monument is located on a section of Hill Street between Temple and the bridge over Cesar Chavez. The area is commonly used as parking for people heading to the civic buildings or nearby cathedral.

The namesake Fort Moore was built on the hill overlooking LA in the late 1840s by American troops looking to keep an eye on Californios, as native Californians of Spanish decent were called in the days before the state was part of the U.S.