The First Mayor
38300 Sierra Highway
Palmdale, CA 93550
A life-sized bronze statue of Palmdale’s first mayor, Larry Chimbole, was unveiled on October 8, 2015 in Poncitlán Square by a grassroots group of Antelope Valley residents called the Local Legends Committee, after an 18-month long campaign of raising funds and engaging local craftsmen for the project.
One of the “50 Grand Men” who helped incorporate the City of Palmdale, Larry Chimbole also served in World War II, was the City’s first mayor and represented the Antelope Valley as a State Assemblyman. Sadly, Chimbole passed away on November 10, 2015 at the age of 96.
Funding for the statue came from donations of family, friends and citizens. The Local Legends Committee put on a variety show-style birthday party in May 2014 to celebrate Chimbole’s 95th birthday and raise funds for the statue. Additional funds were raised through the “50 Grand Friends” campaign, a take-off on the original 50 Grand Men who each donated $1,000 to help incorporate the City of Palmdale in 1962.
Antelope Valley resident and artist David Arroyo sketched the concept drawing of The First Mayor, while sculptor Michael DeMedina created the statue, steel fabricator Tony Murachanian created the steel bench upon which the statue sits, and powder coater John Perez colored the bench green to match the existing color-theme of Poncitlán Square. City of Palmdale Public Works employees assisted in placing the statue.
The Local Legend Committee members include Stacia Nemeth, Chris Spicher, Judy Cooperberg, former Palmdale City Manager Dave Childs (who envisioned the “Fifty Grand Friends” campaign), Sandy Corrales-Eneix, Patricia Shaw, Vicki Medina, Dayle DeBry, Ingrid Chapman and Anne Ambrose. The Committee’s goal is to create a series of statues entitled “Local Legends” which will honor many of Palmdale’s movers and shakers with public art pieces.
About the Artist
Michael DeMedina, sculptor
As a sculptor, Michael DeMedina has created countless works as a commissioned artist, ranging from the movie “Ghostbusters” to works for Michael Jackson. DeMedina also works as a silversmith and oil painter. He, his wife, and son have been Antelope Valley residents for 15 years.