Sister Cities of Los Angeles

Sister Cities of Los Angeles

In Downtown Los Angeles you’ll find a monument acknowledging all of the cities throughout the world who share kinship with Los Angeles.

The Sister Cities of Los Angeles

Los Angeles has a kinship with 25 cities throughout the world. The program started in 1959 when relationships with Nagoya, Japan (our first Sister City) and Eliat, Israel were established. Most recently, in 2007, Yerevan, Armenia was named a kindred city of Los Angeles.

A monument to these cities stands in Downtown Los Angeles at the corner of 1st and Main, right across the street from Los Angeles City Hall in front of South City Hall.

This is also a really good place to see the official City of Los Angeles Flag flying.

The Sister Cities Monument

The Sister Cities Monument and Los Angeles City Hall. Photo from the author’s collection.

The monument itself, designed as a directional signpost, displays each of the Los Angeles Sister Cities, pointing in their general geographic direction and marked with the mileage to each city.

According to the bronze plaque at its base, the monument was designed in 2002 by Brigid LaBonge, a graphic designer based in Los Angeles. She’s also the widow of the late Tom LaBonge, a former Los Angeles City Councilmember who passed on in 2021.

The official Sister Cities Monument plaque. Photo from the author’s collection.

Mr. LaBonge spent 14 years (2001-2015) serving the citizens and businesses of District 4. In addition to being a strong supporter of Griffith park, he was a great booster of the Sister Cities program. He even served a term as president of the Los Angeles Sister Cities Organization.

The Nagoya Clock Tower

The Nagoya Clock Tower at the Sister Cities Monument. Photo from the author’s collection.

In 1984, on the 25th anniversary of the Sister City program, the people of Nagoya, Japan gifted a Seiko clocktower to the people of Los Angeles with the aim of fostering everlasting goodwill between the two cities. This clock was installed next to the Sister Cities Monument and is but one of the many Sidewalk Clocks of Los Angeles.

Sidewalk Clocks of Los Angeles

In the days of a more walkable Los Angeles, jewelry stores would install free-standing clocks on the sidewalks outside their storefronts. Today, only a few of these historic sidewalk clocks remain in Los Angeles.

Keep reading

The Beirut Benches

One of three benches gifted to Los Angeles by Beirut. Photo from the author’s collection.

In 2011, after five years of kinship, Beirut gifted the city of Los Angeles three concrete-and-wood benches. These are arranged along the outer edge of the crushed gravel that makes up the monument’s semi-circular boundary.

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Sister Cities International

Sister Cities of Los Angeles is part of Sister Cities International, a program initiated by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1956. It started as an offshoot of the National League of Cities, an organization that fosters kinship between cities in the United States. Sister Cities International became an independent non-profit in 1967.

Visit Sister Cities of Los Angeles for a full list of the 25 cities around the world who share a cultural relationship with the City of L.A.

Sister Cities of Los Angeles Monument

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Tom Fassbender is a writer of things with a strong adventurous streak. When not exploring Los Angeles, he’s been known to enjoy a cup of coffee or two. You can find him at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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