ECHO PARK — The City Council this morning reaffirmed a previous vote to change the name of Elysian Park Avenue to honor legendary Dodger play-by-play announcer Vin Scully despite a last-minute effort to preserve the old street name.
During a brief public hearing, a few speakers spoke out against replacing Elysian Park Avenue, which has been existence since the late 19th century, with Vin Scully Avenue. Others complained that the community had not been consulted before First District Councilman Gil Cedillo presented the name change to the council. Some groups, including the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park and the Echo Park Historical Society*, had suggested an alternative: naming the intersection of Stadium Way and Elysian Park Avenue “Vin Scully Plaza.”
“I feel that Elysian Park Avenue is the entrance to the park. It’s not the entrance to the Dodgers,” said a woman who spoke against the name change. Elysian Park Avenue is “the entrance to the quinceañeras, to the parties [in the park], the entrance to the police academy. It’s much more than just the Dodgers. Elysian Park has been there before the Dodgers. I think you should consider that perspective.”
Eric R. Eisenberg, who owns property on Elysian Park Avenue and is president of the city’s Department of Transportation Commission, said that Vin Scully was a household name in his family but that the old street name holds historic value. “Elysian Park Avenue is undoubtedly historic to our community,” he said.
But the history argument did not sway the council members, who approved the name change without comment. Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents most of Echo Park, was not present during the vote.
Cedillo’s office did not wait for for today’s council proceedings to begin before announcing that a ceremony to dedicate Vin Scully Avenue would be held on Monday, April 11, one day before the Dodger season opener.
* Jesus Sanchez, publisher of The Eastsider, is a board member of the historical society.
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