Feb. 6, 2016: The Portal of the Folded Wings and Space Shuttle Memorial at Eastern edge of Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood.
The 75-foot tall Portal of Folded Wings originally was the entrance to Valhalla Memorial Park cemetery. Architect Kenneth MacDonald, Jr., and sculptor Federico Giorgi built the Valhalla Memorial Rotunda in 1924.
In the late 1920s, musical concerts and other public events were held at the Rotunda. But noise created by the 1930 opening of nearby Burbank Airport ended events.
In 1950 the Pierce Brothers purchased the cemetery. They closed the Rotunda to vehicle traffic. The park entrance was moved to Victory and Cahuenga boulevards in North Hollywood.
In 1953, the Rotunda was renamed The Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation. Today about 25 early aviators are buried there.
In 2007, the Space Shuttle Memorial opened. It’s dedicated to the crews of the Shuttles Challenger and Columbia. One side of the Space Shuttle model is painted for the Challenger, the other for the Columbia.
Sculptor Federico Fiorgi also also worked on the exterior of the Million Dollar Theatre on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.
On July 18, 1969, a twin-engine aircraft crashed into the Portal of Folded Winds, killing two.
The Space Shuttle model is a movie prop from 2003 sci-fi film “The Core.” Check out this You Tube video. Spoiler alert: the Shuttle lands in the Los Angeles River.
For more check out this Dec. 6, 2013 article by Hadley Meares on the KCET website: Valhalla Memorial Park and the Portal of Folded Wings.
More photos are in my flickr album: 2016 Space Shuttle Memorial.
My thoughts on images past and present.