By Brandon HENSLEY
What was once a vacant dirt lot is now one of the more striking visual places in La Crescenta, and next Friday the community is invited to share in that sight, and celebrate the hard work of many who helped make it happen.
The Crescenta Commons, located on the corner of Rosemont and Orange avenues, will host An Evening at the Commons on Aug. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This isn’t a proper “opening,” of course. Ever since the last of the ornamental tiles were put in place in July, residents have been able to drive or walk up to the place and enjoy its beauty in full. The aesthetics have garnered a big thumbs up from people across town.
“People love it. I haven’t heard anyone say differently,” said Robbyn Battles, president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council. Battles helped put together a team which helped build the property into what it is: a peaceful place to take in a great view. That’s what Battles is aiming next Friday to be.
“It’s for a couple of hours and it’s on a Friday night. As people are getting ready to go to dinner or to do whatever, it’s an easy place for them to stop,” she said.
The Crescenta Commons features benches, plaques, and the two most important elements, a sundial surrounded by two circular rows of tiles.
It’s these tiles, about 180 of them, which residents seem to be most excited about. They were all made and personalized by one woman, local architect Ines Chessum. Those who wanted a tile could send in a picture or a small message. Chessum would imprint the design on the tile, burn it in a kiln and painstakingly place them around the sundial.
“That’s why we delayed the installation of the tiles, because she could only do so many at a time,” Battles said.
Battles has a tile of her own, a horseshoe design for her daughter. Recently, a woman messaged Battles and told her she couldn’t find her family’s tile. Battles reached out to Chessum, who looked up the family’s last name. She found it: next to the south marker, two to the left.
“That’s how organized Ines is; she knew where every tile was,” Battles said.
Rosemont Middle School principal Cynthia Livingston is also a fan of the property. Livingston has a tile with her family name, and one night she texted Battles that she was at the commons enjoying the sunset, and called it an amazing place.
It took work from councilmembers and construction companies to make the place what it is now, but kids also help with the beautification process. Battles said a group from Monte Vista Elementary goes over and pulls weeds, while also having a chance to learn more about the site.
Those who come next Friday will be able to enjoy treats from a shaved ice truck, a nice way to cool down as the end of summer creeps closer. Mostly, though, Battles is excited for everyone to share their tiles and meet the people responsible for putting it all together.
“It’s a chance to meet one another and celebrate that it’s finally done,” she said.