The Live Oak Manor rock arch, a landmark for Sierra Highway motorists for nine decades, was moved Friday for the third time in history – only about 75 feet from its old location and still visible from the road.
The arch was built in 1926 by John E. Olmstead, an eccentric desert rat who created a cactus and sculptural rock garden as a tourist attraction on the Newhall side of the Newhall Pass. In 1930, when Sierra Highway (then known as Highway 6) was realigned, Olmstead moved it 50 feet to the west side of the road where most people alive today have always known it.
In 2003, when the Santa Clarita City Council approved the Gate-King Industrial Park, it required the developer to preserve the arch and other historic features on the property including the Pioneer Oil Refinery (which will be a factor in the second phase of the project).
The same cactus plants have been growing since the 1930s atop the two columns of the arch.
But the rock arch could not be preserved in place. Sierra Highway having been widened again in 1938, the arch stood in the public right-of-way where it posed a danger to motorists and to itself. Plus, more road improvements are coming with the addition of a turn lane for the first phase of the Gate-King project – which has been under construction since 2017 as “The Center at Needham Ranch.”
So, in order to preserve it, the rock arch had to be moved a few feet back from the road at a 6-figure cost to the business park developer, Trammell Crow Co. and Clarion Partners.
Last August, workers from Oltmans Construction Co. and American Heavy Rigging and Moving Inc. picked up and trucked the arch to a temporary location on the property so that the sewer, water, electrical and other utility work could be done at the entrance to the business park.
Plans were drawn and redrawn, and on Friday the contractors were back on the job, moving the 20-ton arch to what is intended to be its final location.
With two deep concrete-and-steel footings joined with railroad track, the rock arch withstood the 1933 Long Beach and 1952 Kern County and 1971 Sylmar and 1994 Northridge earthquakes– as well as the recent Ridgecrest shakers when it had a temporary metal brace around it.
Now it will have a new, wider, 3- or 4-foot-deep reinforced concrete foundation, which should support it through a few more.
The San Fernando Valley Council of Governments Transportation Committee, whose members include 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean, will hold a meeting Thursday, Sept. 19, at 1:30 p.m.
Princess Cruises, the world’s fastest growing premium cruise line, celebrated a significant construction milestone today with the recent float out of Enchanted Princess at its building dock at Fincantieri Shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Denny Truger was honored as the Placerita Canyon Nature Center's Adult Volunteer of the Year and Miranda Clark and Delaney Pineda were named Junior Volunteers of the Year at a county awards ceremony Saturday.
College of the Canyons has been selected to collaborate in the U.S. Department of Labor Growing Advanced Manufacturing Apprentices Across America program, which will prepare and place 5,000 workers into pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship roles.
In the face of significant cuts to housing and supportive services proposed by the Trump Administration, California Governor Gavin Newsom and a bipartisan coalition of the state’s elected mayors and county supervisors called on President Trump and his administration Monday to do more to address homelessness and housing insecurity.
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