Local

Historic Filipinotown brightens up with 54 new light fixtures

A rendering of one of the fixtures, representing the golden sun from the Philippine national flag and symbolizing unity.
A rendering of one of the fixtures, representing the golden sun from the Philippine national flag and symbolizing unity.
Roel Punzalan
A rendering of one of the fixtures, representing the golden sun from the Philippine national flag and symbolizing unity.
Rendering of the second street light, showing figures holding hands to create the form of a bridge which symbolizes the relationships, connections, and bonds that are created among diverse people.
Roel Punzalan
A rendering of one of the fixtures, representing the golden sun from the Philippine national flag and symbolizing unity.
Rendering of the third fixture, a star-shaped lantern symbolizing the Filipino Christmas and represents the third core concept of peace and harmony.
Roel Punzalan


A part of Los Angeles just got a whole lot brighter this week. A stroll down Temple Street in Historic Filipinotown will offer a view of the newly installed light fixtures as part of the city's efforts to make the area more attractive — and safer for the community. 

The neighborhood's main artery was lined with 54 new lightposts at 17 bus shelters that highlight the Filipino culture. 

Los Angeles Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell told KPCC this project was aimed at making the area “more attractive, more walkable [and] more beautiful.”

This is just the latest facelift the L.A. neighborhood has received. Years ago, there was a streetscape plan that added trees and crosswalks — painted with Filipino-inspired artistic elements — along Temple, O'Farrell said.  

“This is, really, a continuation of those efforts to furnish the cultural identity of the community while making the street safer and more attractive for everyone to enjoy," O'Farrell said. 

A call for designs from local artists was put out for the Project HiFi Highlight contest earlier this year. They were asked to submit three designs inspired by Filipino values. Kapwa, meaning shared humanity and togetherness, lakbay, meaning journey, and kapayapaan, which encapsulates the idea of peace and harmony.

The submission from Glassell Park resident Roel Punzalan was chosen as the winner. 

Design rendering by Roel Punzalan

Apart from sprucing up the neighborhood, the fixtures are also meant to increase safety, O'Farrell said. 

“When you make safety improvements in a neighborhood, they don’t have to be ugly," he said. "It’s just a statistical fact that when you have increased lighting at night, neighborhoods are safer.” 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMAQ2d8jbRs/?tagged=historicfilipinotown

O'Farrell said he wanted to make sure the community felt safe waiting for the bus or walking down the street.

“It’s these little projects, one at a time across the city, that just keep Los Angeles’ identity as one of culturally diverse, a city that’s very interesting, where our diversity can be expressed in the public realm," he said.