November 11, 2019
Stories Of Los Angeles Harbor Area – For Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (SOLAHA)
Vol. I, No. 45 Stephanie Mardesich
In c. 1934 Joseph M. Mardesich, Sr. learned that a Federal building in downtown Los Angeles was to be razed and he purchased the “archways” that were huge granite eagles, weighing nearly two tons. The Long Beach earthquake of 1933 caused terrible damage to the San Pedro High School campus at 13th & Gaffey Streets and a new school was being planned nearby.
Stephanie Mardesich recounts the bold vision of her Grandfather to use the archways and adapt to create what became the “Victory Arch” emulating the historical archways of Europe and in America. He obtained clearance with the Los Angeles Unified School District, hired and architect and had the Victory Arch erected to inspire athletes and all students, academically, morally, and spiritually. (See attached story).
The photo attached here (below) is testimony to the grandeur that inspired Mr. Mardesich and ) was taken when Stephanie was in Rome, Italy October 17 in front of the Arch of Constantine (Arco di Costantino) triumphal arch in Rome situated between the Coliseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Constructed from pieces of previous buildings, the Arch of Constantine is the most modern of the triumphal arches that were built in ancient Rome. It is 21 meters high, 25 meters wide and is made up of three arches.
The Victory Arch represents long standing tradition: the football runs through it before a game, graduates walk through to receive diplomas, sweethearts declare their affection.
There is an effort in process to designate it with historic monument status. Stop by the campus to appreciate the unique monument and work of public art.