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Bob Hope Airport launches brick fundraiser

Commemorative blocks will help fund public art in new transport center.

October 23, 2013|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

Bob Hope Airport is officially in the commemorative brick business.

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday received a look at www.skiesoffreedom.
com, the website launched by the airport to handle orders of the mementos to be included in the airport's transportation center currently under construction.

The airport officials hope that former Lockheed employees and other participants in the aviation developments that occurred in Burbank — such as the creation of the P-38 fighter and SR-71 spy plane — will pay to have bricks inscribed with their names, significant dates and, for the larger bricks, illustrations of planes built by Lockheed.

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The airport needs at least 4,000 buyers of the memorial bricks to fund the program and help satisfy a Burbank city requirement for public art in the transportation center, Bob Hope spokesman Victor Gill said Tuesday.

The airport authority spent $6,500 to build the website and also produced a video and brochure that are being distributed to former Lockheed employees.

The prices are $98 for a 4-inch by 8-inch brick and $148 for an 8-inch by 8-inch brick, while “keepsake” bricks — copies of the bricks actually put in the walkway — sell for an additional $65 and $80 each, respectively.

The bricks will be placed in the Skies of Freedom Pavilion, which connects the main airport grounds and the elevated walkway to the transportation center.

The memorial brick pavilion is expected to open next summer, as is the overall transportation center.

Those bricks that have been purchased by the time of the opening will be installed along the main walkway in the art pavilion, airport Executive Director Dan Feger said Monday, with more bricks being installed periodically afterward.

Officials plan for the pavilion to hold 20,000 bricks.

The original plans for the transportation center included funding for 16 steel “art columns” at a cost of $30,000 each. But because only five columns will actually feature artwork, only their cost can be applied to the requirement, according to city officials.

As a condition of city approval for the transportation center, the airport is required to make a minimum investment of $377,198 for public art in the project.

In April, the airport authority voted to spend an additional $250,000 on public art for the project in the form of the art pavilion that will house the bricks and to generate those funds through the brick program.

The pavilion will also be home to a replica of the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane built at the Lockheed Skunkworks facility in Burbank.

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Follow Daniel Siegal on Google+ and on Twitter: @Daniel_Siegal.

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