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Glendale officials mark the opening of Park Paseo, linking parts of downtown

Glendale officials stand with Mayor Ara Najarian, center, as he cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the Central Park Paseo at 216 S. Brand Boulevard next to the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

Glendale officials stand with Mayor Ara Najarian, center, as he cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of the Central Park Paseo at 216 S. Brand Boulevard next to the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

A neon Clayton Plumbers sign illuminates the message “the leak stops here” above a new walkway near Brand Boulevard, a feature businesspeople and city officials say they hope will link numerous downtown venues.

Running at about 120 feet long, the Park Paseo is a half-wooden deck and half-concrete path that leads visitors off Brand Boulevard past the Museum of Neon Art to Central Park, the Adult Recreation Center and the Glendale Central Library.

Seating and drought-tolerant plantings cut through the center of the path.

More than a dozen city officials were on hand Tuesday for the grand opening of the path, which took more than a year and $2 million to build. Conceptual ideas for the linkage between local attractions dates back to the 1990s, but things didn’t really get moving until the Americana at Brand opened across the street.

“We’re hoping that [Park Paseo] activates and brings people out of the Americana to our Central Park, to our library,” said Mayor Ara Najarian. “We’ve got wonderful seating here. We’re going to have a great opportunity for people to relax and to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Brand Boulevard.”

Helen McDonagh, who serves on the board of the Downtown Glendale Assn., said nearby merchants are thankful to have another major improvement in their part of town.

“We are so excited about the entrance to the Paseo being in our beautiful downtown area,” she said.

The addition of the paseo comes with 46 new parking stalls.

The sign — a replica of a sign belong to a defunct Westwood business — belongs to the Museum of Neon Art, which relocated from downtown Los Angeles to Brand. Its entrance lies on the paseo. Museum Vice President Eric Evavold said he’s thrilled to be part of a cultural corridor and hopes the path will see a lot of use.

“It’s like a handcrafted welcome right to our front door,” he said. “We hope the paseo will be discovered by everybody, not just skateboarders.”

The final piece of the puzzle will be the completion of the remodel of the Glendale Central Library, which will be sometime in early 2017.


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