Residents of the Del Rey community of Los Angeles, situated near two other communities that bear its name as a suffix, say Del Rey has long had trouble being known as a specific location, but they are hopeful that will soon change.
The Del Rey community — surrounded by Marina del Rey and Venice to the west, Playa del Rey to the southwest, Culver City to the east, Mar Vista to the north and Playa Vista to the south — received new City of Los Angeles signs in mid-October that were installed at six different locations to identify community borders.
Del Rey residents, who say they are hoping that the new signs will help boost the community’s identity, marked the installation of the signs with Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl at a ceremony Saturday, October 27th, at Maxella Avenue near Del Rey Avenue, one of the six sign locations.
Rosendahl, who worked with Del Rey Neighborhood Council members to select the sign locations and presented a motion for City Council approval, said the new signs are a way to put the community “on the map.”
“For too long, this community has had to live in the shadows of its more well-known neighbors,” Rosendahl said. “Now, with these new signs, this community is on the map and everyone will know what a great place Del Rey is.”
In addition to the sign on the south side of Maxella Avenue, east of Del Rey Avenue, the other five sign locations in Del Rey are at:
– East side of Inglewood Boulevard, north of Jefferson Boulevard;
– West side of Inglewood Boulevard, north of Louise Avenue;
– East side of Centinela Avenue, north of Jefferson Boulevard;
– West side of Centinela Avenue, south of the City of Los Angeles boundary near Washington Boulevard; and
– South side of Culver Boulevard, east of Lincoln Boulevard.
As a community bordered by other communities with greater name recognition, Del Rey has faced problems of identity, residents say. Many visitors are often confused to find out that certain sites, such as the Villa Marina Marketplace, are actually in Del Rey and not Marina del Rey, residents note.
While the community’s location may not be as familiar to visitors as its neighbors of Marina and Playa del Rey, Del Rey’s establishment predates both those communities, Del Rey Neighborhood Council president Mark Redick noted. Del Rey will celebrate its 105th anniversary next year.
Redick praised the new signs as a “significant step for the community.”
“It’s a point of pride for the people of Del Rey,” Redick said. “It’s galvanizing a sense of community for Del Rey and it’s really an exciting time for us.”
Other Del Rey residents said they were also pleased to see city signs mark the entrance into their neighborhood.
“I think it’s great — we’ll finally get some more visible identity,” said Steve Knight, former Neighborhood Council president.
Del Rey Homeowners and Neighbors Association president Chris Nevil added, “I think they’re very useful and I applaud our councilman and Neighborhood Council for getting after it.”
Prior to receiving the six new community signs, Del Rey was not without any sign designation. Two signs existed on Inglewood Boulevard, one near Sanford Street and the other near Jefferson Boulevard, but residents said the sign near Jefferson was stolen.
In an effort to improve community signage and identity, Neighborhood Council members approached Rosendahl earlier this year to acquire new signs at specific areas of Del Rey.
“We wanted them to be visible to let people know they’re in Del Rey and to allow every area of Del Rey to be represented,” Redick said of how the sign locations were chosen.
Redick noted how quickly the signs were installed, saying that after the City Council and Department of Transportation approved the signs this summer, they were put up last month.
Now that they have new signs to let visitors know where their community is, Del Rey residents say they plan to continue working on other efforts to help raise the profile of the community.