April-May 1998 —
Except for its use as a staging area for the annual SCV Fourth of July Parade, the triangle formed by Newhall Avenue (foreground in first image), Walnut Street (at right) and
Market Street (in distance) stood vacant for nearly 14 years before the city of Santa Clarita was able to purchase the property and open it to the public on May 28, 2006, as
Veterans Historical Plaza.
The Pardee House, which was built about 1890 on Pine Street and moved to this location in 1893, stood on the property until Aug. 4, 1992, when it was moved again, across and down the street
to Heritage Junction-Hart Park. From the 1940s until 1987, it had been used by Pacific Bell (the telephone company), then the Newhall-Saugus Boys Club (now SCV Boys and Girls Club), and finally the
Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce (now SCV Chamber). After the chamber moved out in 1987, the property reverted to Pac Bell, which donated the building to the SCV Historical Society.
About Veterans Historical Plaza.
Source: City of Santa Clarita.
In 2000, the Santa Clarita City Council initiated an aggressive effort to raise funds for the design and construction of a Veterans Historical Plaza. The City Council led an effort that included the support of then Assembly-member George Runner and State Senator Pete Knight, to secure $250,000 in State funding through the Department of Veterans Affairs for the land acquisition of one-half acre for this project. The Historical Veterans Memorial Committee assisted the City in public meetings and was originally responsible for the sale of inscribed bricks as part of the Plaza. Additionally, this committee raised funds for a special piece of art for the Plaza, "Willie, the Drummer Boy."
The design of the Plaza evokes images of a formal Victorian garden. This may be seen in the symmetry of the layout, as well as in the detailing found in the architecture and furnishings. The design team's goal was to create a place of serenity and reflection on the middle of the bustling city. The placement of water features provides both a dramatic visual effect and serves to reduce traffic noise from adjacent Newhall Avenue. Extending on either side of the water features are walkways with bronze story-stations depicting each of our nation's military conflicts leading to a central lawn area. Across this lawn area are the majestic United States and California flags, flanked by flags of each of the five branches of the military. On either side, Victorian pergolas offer shade, and on special occasions, a place to gather or to stage performances. A brick walkway surrounds the ellipse and contains hundreds of engraved bricks honoring individuals who served in the military.
LW3135: Download original images here