Is it time for Hermon to recover its lost identity?

Nov 15, 2012

Via Marisol was once known as Hermon Avenue.

The death of former councilman Arthur K. Snyder last week triggered a tweet and suggestion from the former Highland Park blogger known as Waltarrrr:

Former LA Councilman Art Snyder is dead. So can we please revert Via Marisol back to Hermon Avenue now??? #90042

Huh? What does Art Snyder have to do with Via Marisol and long-gone Hermon Avenue? Many long-time residents of Hermon and those familiar with its history know the answer.

As Waltarrrr explained in a follow up Twitter message, it was Snyder who in 1978 orchestrated changing the name of Hermon Avenue to Via Marisol in honor of his then three-year-old daughter, Erin-Marisol.  The newly renamed Via Marisol through Hermon lead from the 110 Freeway up the hilltop condo community of Monterey Hills, where Snyder also had the main street named Via Marisol, according to a May 1978 L.A. Times story.

The disappearance of “Hermon Ave.” from street and freeway signs as well as maps was a blow to many residents in Hermon, the small neighborhood located between the Arroyo Seco Parkway and El Sereno. One resident told the Times in 1978:

“The councilman stole our street and our heritage,” said a long-time resident. “It was highway robbery.”

Will the name “Hermon Ave.” ever return to street signs or Google Maps and The Thomas Guide?  That’s not clear but neighborhood activists like Wendi Riser, who publishes the All Things Hermon e-mail newsletter, have said that Hermon residents are better organized today to oppose such challenges to the neighborhood’s history and character. In an All Things Hermon newsletter sent earlier this year, Riser said:

I’m certain we’d have never let ex-Councilman Art Snyder rename our namesake street – Hermon Avenue — after a child of his, Marisol. We are watchful and engaged; a powerful combo.

Read the Full Story at Eastsider LA

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