Culver City Community Cheers Fresh Paint, New Words on Former Gun Store

When the Culver City Council voted to buy the old gun store on Washington Boulevard, it was a major victory and an enormous relief for the parents of students at La Ballona Elementary School. The store, which had been in business at that location in Culver City for more than sixty years, was exempted from the law that dictated a distance between a weapons dealer and a public school. Purchasing the property was a popular move, and many in the community have thanked and congratulated the council on the decision. 

The purchase was covered by media as far away as New York, and offered a spotlight on Culver City that many of the community members, school employees, nearby neighbors and business owners were pleased to see. 

Natalie Bornacelli, a third grade student at La Ballona, remembered that a lockdown drill at school happened the year she learned how to read, and the sign proclaiming ‘GUNS’ on the side of the building was one of her most visible lessons. “I’m very happy that the gun store and the signs are gone! I feel a lot safer and I feel protected. When the store was there, I didn’t feel safe because someone could get a gun from there and walk over to our school and shoot us. I think we should paint it with colors that make kids happy.” 

Now, the next stage begins. Culver City’s Artist Laureate, Katy Krantz, is overseeing a temporary mural project on the site. Five Star Painting is the company that began putting a fresh white coat of paint on the building in late December, and the more detailed work is planned to begin towards the end of January.

After offering a preview of what the new look might be at a December City Council meeting, Krantz has emphasized that it’s a vision in process. “It’s going to change quite a bit. [There will be] different colors, imagery and words, but the concept of replacing the existing words with new words and images and keeping some elements of the original graphic design and fonts will remain.”

The mural is classified as temporary, as the city has yet to consider how it will use the property. With the age of the building and the state of disrepair, it’s likely that it will be torn down in the coming year. 

Krantz is undaunted by the understanding that the new look will be a temporary work of art. “I’m honored to create a new artwork that celebrates this eclectic and diverse neighborhood.”    
Judith Martin-Straw
Photo Credit – George M. 



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