Clear view of ‘City of Angels:’ Union Station mural refreshed

Specialized Metro Art staff work on the mural from a temporary scaffolding above escalators to contain dust particles, and not hinder the flow of transit patrons below.

Specialized Metro Art staff work on the mural from a temporary scaffolding above escalators in Union Station’s west portal to the Red/Purple Line to contain dust particles, and not hinder the flow of transit patrons below.

Following a recent maintenance effort, the artwork LA: City of Angels, a mural by Los Angeles based artist Cynthia Carlson, has returned to its original heavenly splendor.

Located in Union Station West and facing the entrance to the Red/Purple Line, LA: City of Angels was installed in 1993 in the early years of the Metro Art program. To keep it looking bright and new, specialized Metro Art staff thoroughly cleaned the mural using wet and dry techniques.

“Metro’s art program is now in its 25th year and many of our artworks from the early years require cleaning, restoration and other maintenance,” explained Creative Services Manager Angelene Campuzano. “It’s gratifying to be able to maintain the integrity of the artwork that artists have so thoughtfully contributed to our system and make it look as vibrant as when it was first installed–in this case, 1993.”

Maintaining artwork in the heavily trafficked space of a rail station requires support from and close coordination with Metro departments. “Metro Wayside Facilities staff have been incredibly supportive to our program and our efforts to maintain the aesthetics of the transit environment for our customers,” Campuzano added.

Some before and after views of the mural are below:

Before cleaning, detail.

Before cleaning, detail. The 40 foot long mural by Cynthia Carlson is located in Union Station’s West portal to the Red/Purple Line.

After cleaning, detail.

After cleaning, detail. The mural surface, painted aluminum honeycomb panels, was thoroughly cleaned using wet and dry techniques.

LA: City of Angels before maintenance work.

LA: City of Angels before maintenance work.

LA: City of Angels after maintenance work.

LA: City of Angels after maintenance work. The project also included full replacement of all overhead entrance lighting.

4 thoughts on “Clear view of ‘City of Angels:’ Union Station mural refreshed

  1. How much did this restoration cost taxpayers and will there be more future maintenance work needed when it arises?

  2. Wasteful gov’t spending: So, if the art works starts looking trashy and unkept, do you think people that use the system are going to trust that the trains are kept clean too? It’s called beautification and it is done through out the world so cities and publi institutions don’t look rundown and broken. Sometimes people cry over the little things that have a big impact. Do you change the oil in your car on a regular basis or do you just wait until the car is damaged and now your paying twice or even three times more for the damage caused by YOUR negligence? In the long run, keeping this art and others in the system maintained is far better than the alternative.

  3. Digital art. Just add a huge digital display that rotates between digital art that changes and useful info like train departure times. Save money on restoration because digital art doesn’t need any cleaning.

  4. They should’ve just replaced this with a huge ad space. It’s a perfect place for ads that companies would pay millions for. That would create additional revenue stream for Metro and they need that money. Art does nothing and you end up wasting people’s money with restoration like these.

    Metro needs to stop wasting taxpayers’ money and start operating like a business.

    Many ads are catchy like art anyway; ad companies hire artists better so there’s no need for taxpayers to foot this bill. And unlike art, it changes. Catchy ad for Coca Cola in May, August will be a catchy ad for Pepsi. $$$ for Metro, efficient use of space, and constant change that never gets boring.

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