Rancho Cucamonga man helping to restore historical landmarks

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Rancho Cucamonga man helping to restore historical landmarks
Dec 222014


RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> Anthony Gonzalez said he didn’t acquire a true love for historical buildings and landmarks until his involvement with Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.

In the early ‘90s, Gonzalez served as El Pueblo director when many of the buildings there were damaged by an earthquake in 1994.

“It made me realize the importance of trying to maintain and keep these historical building so we can know where we came from,” he said.

It is that love that led him to in 2011 to begin efforts to save and restore a nearly 100-year-old gas station along Route 66.

Gonzalez lived in La Verne for most of his adolescence and moved out in college. He returned to the area in 1998 when he moved to his current home in Rancho Cucamonga.

As the president of Route 66 Inland Empire California, he is helping to spearhead efforts.

For the past year, he and group members have devoted many hours restoring the Cucamonga Service Station with the goal of reopening it next year as a museum.

In September, he was named president of Cucamonga Service Club, the governing body that oversees Sweeten Hall building in the 9000 block of San Bernardino Road.

In the past, Sweeten Hall served as the central location for gatherings and parties in the city. That was lost for years for various reasons.

His plan in the next year is to help restore the building so that it can once again be utilized by the community.

“These two endeavors are keeping me busy now,” said the 63-year-old who retired only three years ago.

Now he spends at least eight hours a day on either restoration projects, he said.

“I’m trying to rehabilitate the buildings, bring them back to its original state,” Gonzalez said.

– By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Rancho Cucamonga mayor sees turnaround on horizon – Route 66

 California, Daily  Comments Off on Rancho Cucamonga mayor sees turnaround on horizon – Route 66
Jan 192011

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – The city’s future is bright, Mayor Dennis Michael told a group of community and business leaders at his first State of the City address on Wednesday at Etiwanda Gardens.

Michael displayed his optimistic outlook to a crowd of about 120 people at the annual luncheon hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. The former fire chief and newly elected mayor outlined a number of ongoing and future projects – including Foothill Boulevard’s widening and Hellman Avenue storm drain construction – as infrastructure developments that will help the city exit the economic slump.

“These projects not only benefit the community but they also help stimulate our local economy and create jobs right now,” Michael said. “This is just the type of jump start we need during a time when many businesses and families are being challenged due to our local and nation’s economy.”

A video simulation was shown of a widened Foothill Boulevard at the city’s western limits. The computer graphics showed a trailhead park and a Route 66-themed bridge near Baker Avenue.

Michael said the project, expected to be finished at the end of the year, will stimulate growth in an area that “needs it so drastically.”

“Words can’t describe how great this portion of Foothill Boulevard will look,” he said. “It will be the jewel of the entire stretch of Route 66.”

Later this year, construction will begin on Wilson Avenue from East Avenue to Wardman Bullock Road to provide a sidewalk and one lane of traffic each way in that northeast neighborhood.
Construction of the Hellman Fire Station in the Alta Loma neighborhood is also expected to be complete later in the year. The station, which will be equipped to fight hillside fires, has been in the fire district’s plans since the 1970s.

“Patience has truly paid off,” Michael said.

The mayor described an economic comeback on the horizon, with housing developers beginning to inquire about land and permitting processes and sales tax inching slightly upwards.

“We are beginning to see progress,” he said.

Last year, the city’s Redevelopment Agency was able to convince laser technology company SpectraSensors to stay in the city thanks to a grant from the county. The city also welcomed Sharp Electronics, which relocated here from Orange County, bringing 100 new jobs to the area.

“Our creativity and resilience continues to be tested but we also know that these tough economic times will not last forever,” Michael said. “And regardless of what is occurring at a national or state level, we have built a vibrant community with great schools, an excellent infrastructure and quality projects that will endure this economic downturn.”