Balboa Village gets a new arch to promote 'Home of the Fun Zone'

Crews installed a new archway this week for Newport Beach's Balboa Village that boosters hope will help revitalize the historic but aging Balboa Peninsula area.

The steel archway, supported by concrete pedestals on both sides, spans East Balboa Boulevard where it meets Adams Street. The arch displays the words "Balboa Village" in large letters, along with a circular logo containing a Ferris wheel, the Balboa Pavilion and the words "Home of the Fun Zone." It will be lighted at night.

The City Council approved the project in May in a 4-3 vote, divided on spending about $230,000 for it. Then-Mayor Diane Dixon, whose district includes Balboa Village, said it would give the area a better sense of identity. The Balboa Village Merchants Assn. also supported it.

Councilman Marshall "Duffy" Duffield was among those who dissented, citing the sign's cost and size.

"It's just so dominating, but I'm not sure that's the exact thing that's necessary for this economic boom to happen," he said.

Balboa Village was established in 1906. The Balboa Fun Zone opened in 1936.

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