The gateway to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), with its illuminated pylons and 32-foot-high letters spelling “LAX,” is a familiar site to many visitors to the airport.
Los Angeles city and airport officials gathered Oct. 25 to mark the 10th anniversary of the project that brought such enhancements to the airport’s entrance near Sepulveda and Century boulevards.
The $112 million Gateway LAX Enhancement Project consisted of palm trees lining Century from Aviation Boulevard; landscaping throughout the passenger terminal area; large steel overhead signage and lighting along Century; a new public address system; and iconic letters spelling out “LAX” with glass pylons ranging from 26 feet to over 100 feet tall.
“Commemorating our landmarks is part of loving Los Angeles,” City Councilman Tom LaBonge said. “You know you’ve arrived at LAX when you see those glowing pylons and the beautiful landscape that surrounds them. Behind every great landmark is a team of people who work day and night to make it very special.”
The celebration culminated with the unveiling of a plaque honoring principal architect, Ted Tokio Tanaka, for his vision. The plaque was installed in the flag courtyard, garden-enclosed area in the center of the 15 gateway pylons that represent the 15 city districts.
“It’s tough to make your mark as a cultural icon at one of the most iconic airports in the world, but Ted Tanaka and the LAX Gateway Enhancement Project managed to do just that,” City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the LAX area, said. “I’m delighted to celebrate this great accomplishment on its 10th anniversary.”
Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsay added, “The Gateway Enhancement Project is a world-class iconic landmark that has come to symbolize LAX’s spirit of modernization, efficiency and service to the traveling public.”
Tanaka noted that he is delighted that the LAX Gateway Enhancement Project has become a landmark of the city.
The project was launched in August 2000 and now welcomes millions of visitors annually to Los Angeles.