On Wednesday, a monument celebrating the local equestrian community was erected in Glendale, as residents fight to save a local stable.
The monument can be found on Riverside Drive, between South Chavez Street and Allen Avenue. It’s located across the street from Silver Spur Stables, which some Glendale and Burbank residents are fighting to keep open because the site could be rezoned in the future and be demolished to make way for a condominium development.
In February, Art Simonian, founder of Metro Investments and a member of the Glendale Design Review Board, and Thomas Bell, owner of Silver Spur Stables, submitted an application to change the stables’ zoning from commercial equestrian to multifamily residential.
If approved, the stables would be torn down, and 21 townhouse-style condominiums would be built.
“I was jumping up and down with joy,” said Joanne Hedge, president of the Glendale Rancho Neighborhood Assn., when she saw the finished monument.
“I always thought we needed some identity down here,” Hedge said.
The monument is located close to the border between the cities of Glendale and Burbank, which already has a strong equestrian identity in its southwestern area.
“It was really Joanne reaching out to the city for district identity,” said Jacqueline Bartlow, the city’s economic development coordinator, who helped manage the project. “ I worked with her to develop the sign.”
The monument became part of a larger public works project in the area to improve streets and sidewalks.
Hedge said she thought it was necessary to brand Glendale’s equestrian community after seeing Burbank invest in its Rancho district for years.
“Years ago, there was no real difference between the two cities,” Hedge said. “Burbank has two of these lovely monuments in their equestrian district.”
Project organizers looked at Burbank’s monument and brainstormed about how to make theirs unique to Glendale.
“We kind of modeled the new one after the Burbank one,” Bartlow said. “They have more of a ceramic-looking [monument], but we didn’t want it to be identical.”
A key difference between the monuments is the bronze horse heads on both sides of the Glendale version.
“They are very traditional replicas of an equestrian icon,” Hedge said.
As people enter the city from Burbank, the monument features “Welcome to Glendale” on the top, with “Rancho Equestrian Community” underneath.
Hedge said she was so excited the monument was finished, she parked her car and began talking to the contractors as they finished it.