_DSC4704In the heart of Thai Town at the Thailand Plaza adjacent to Hollywood and Hobart, there is a concentration of Thai businesses and Thai cultural activities. This node, where the Hobart crosswalk currently exists, is the proposed site for two (2) ornately decorated Kinnara pedestrian lamps to be erected at opposing sides of the Hollywood crosswalk at Hobart. This project strives to enhance the cultural amenities in Thai Town. In addition to being a cultural monument, the Kinnara pedestrian lamps will help to create a multiplier effect together with the newly erected Thai Town Apsonsi Thai Angel Gateway project on Hollywood Blvd. (Western and Normandie) creating a well defined tourist destination with regional visibility.

The installation of these two Kinnara will highlight the core businesses that represent Thai Town, foster a better understanding of Thai Town as an historic port of entry for newly arrived Thai immigrants in the United States, attract additional tourists to Thai Town, and encourage visitors to walk the length of Thai Town to support its over 50 Thai-owned small businesses. This particular site is also home to the famous Singha Beer Garden featured during the Annual Thai New Year’s Day Songkran Festival, an annual festival held every April with more than 100,000 attendees at the center of the proposed site where the street lamps will be erected. Of historic significance, the project is scheduled to be completed by the next Thai New Year Festival in April 2013 coinciding with the Friendship City signing taking place between Bangkok, Thailand and Los Angeles, USA to be presided by Councilman Tom LaBonge and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Therefore, these Thai stylized street lamps will also memorialize this Friendship City signing and represent a long term acceptance of the formalized relationship between the cities of Los Angeles and Bangkok.

Cultural tourism as an economic development strategy for East Hollywood is a long-term objective of Thai CDC’s. Thus far, Thai CDC has been able to create Thai cultural amenities by incorporating them in the public right of way or sidewalk. Successful public right of way projects in Thai Town include the “golden trumpet” trees of the Greener Thai Town initiative with the City of Los Angeles and the Royal Thai Consulate General Office of Los Angeles and the decorative brick parkway along Hollywood Boulevard. A major component of the Pedestria Kinnara Lamppost project also includes the Apsonsi or Thai Angel Gateway at the eastern and western most ends of the district. Other design elements to highlight Thai Town’s rich cultural heritage are being developed in partnership with the City of Los Angeles and the Royal Thai Consulate General Office of Los Angeles. The positive economic implications for place making and neighborhood identity and Thai CDC’s partnership with the Royal Thai Consulate General Office of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles make projects like this possible. The Thai Town Pedestrian Kinnara Lamppost Project is expected to be completed by April of 2013 pending city approval.

Thai Town Gateway Plaques- Merit Making Opportunity

With the completion of a nearly 10 year effort, the Thai Town Apsonsi Thai Angel Gateway is now welcoming visitors to Thai Town. However, there is still a great need for sponsorships to fund its maintenance and preservation. The sponsorship opportunity comes in seven categories for residents, business owners, and general Thai Town community members to donate towards the maintenance and preservation of the Angel Statues. Sponsorship can be as simple as a single dollar amount tax deductable donation to as high as a Gold Sponsorship level donation totaling $8,000.00. Please ask for our Sponsorship Packet for greater details or contact Tyler S. Forester at Thai CDC, (323) 468-2555. All sponsors above the level three sponsorship will receive an inscription of their name on the Sponsorship plaque to be placed on the base of the Eastern Apsonsi Thai Angel Gateway (at Hollywood and Winona) to be seen by all visitors and community members of Thai Town for generations to come, beginning with a truly symbolic sponsorship of $999.99 and above.