This beautiful sign, erected in 1957 at Felix Chevrolet in Los Angeles, was declared a historic-cultural monument on Thursday. (Photo from Tejana's Flickr stream.) Antonio Villaraigosa and downtown-area City Councilwoman Jan Perry were against the monument status for the Felix sign and the car showroom, at the corner of Figueroa and Jefferson Boulevard, because they fear the designation will cause problems for area development efforts. From the Los Angeles Times:
"It is literally a modern totem pole," said sign preservation advocate Jim Childs. "It really explains the evolution of the automobile and Los Angeles…"
The Felix character was borrowed from the popular 1920s cartoon "Felix the Cat" by pioneering L.A. automobile dealer Winslow Felix, who opened Felix Chevrolet in 1922 at 12th Street and Grand Avenue. Felix was a friend of filmmaker Pat Sullivan, whose animation studio created the mischievous feline character…
Felix's fans urged that the sign and showroom be left intact. They noted that landmark status does not permanently block removal of a historic structure but does force property owners, developers and city officials to carefully study the effects of demolition.
"We're looking at an icon in California history, a true definition of L.A.'s love affair with the automobile," added Charles Fisher, who teamed up with Childs to nominate the sign and showroom as a landmark.