Goldenrod Footbridge earns historic status
The Newport Beach Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission unanimously approved historic status for the Goldenrod Footbridge on Tuesday, as well as Irvine Terrace Park as the site for a Japanese sculpture gift.
“Many of us in Corona del Mar use this bridge daily,” said Ron Yeo, a member of the Corona del Mar Residents Assn. who encouraged City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner to seek the designation for the 1928 structure. “It’s an icon for this community.”
Commissioner Walt Howald mentioned that influential artist Rex Brandt lived and worked in a home near the bridge.
“It’s really deep in my heart,” he said.
Commissioner Kathy Hamilton agreed with the sentiment, telling the group that as a teenager, when she and her friends would go to Corona del Mar State Beach, also known as Big Corona, from Long Beach, they always drove on Bayside Drive to get there.
“We wanted to drive under the bridge,” she said. “It was cool.”
The commissioners also unanimously approved placing a sculpture of a shogun, a gift from Newport Beach’s sister city, Okazaki, in Irvine Terrace Park.
The Newport Beach Arts Commission had voted to accept the gift, and the city’s Board of Library Trustees agreed to place it in the Central Library’s bamboo courtyard.
But city officials explained Tuesday that the sculpture could be placed at the library for a reception for sister city visitors, then moved to a permanent spot in Irvine Terrace Park.
The park has a bench honoring the Newport Beach Sister City Assn. founder, Wendell Fish, who lived in the neighborhood, as well as lantern sculptures that were also a gift from Okazaki.
Commissioner Tom Anderson said he worried that Irvine Terrace Park could become a “private art gallery,” and asked whether the gift should be placed in another area of the city.
Hamilton and Commissioner Roy Englebrecht asked what gifts Newport Beach had given Okazaki, and staff said they would research and report back.
The group also heard staff reports on the policies that regulate the planting of trees and the process for removing trees that are diseased or causing damage.
Council policies G-1 and G-6 will be updated to refine the list of trees that can be planted on city property. Some trees on the city’s current list are no longer commercially available or are prone to disease or pests.
City staff will continue to revise the policies while gathering neighborhood association input, and return them to a commission committee, possibly in November.
The Corona del Mar Residents Assn. created a reforestation committee, which met several times this spring and summer and submitted its ideas to the commission in July.
However, commissioners said Tuesday that they had not seen the report or had time to review it, and staffers said their first attempt at policy revisions was not intended to incorporate community input.
Yeo said the group would consider the staff revisions, then possibly send a copy of its report to each commissioner.