Two Centennial Pieces Returning to Civic Center

Posted On: August 9, 2012

Two well-loved and historic Whittier Centennial pieces will be returning to the Civic Center Complex. Plans are underway for the Centennial Clock and the Barefoot Boy sculpture, removed and put into storage during the construction of the new Whittier Police Station and refurbishment of the Civic Center, to have new homes on the site.

The Centennial Clock will be placed on the northeast corner of Mar Vista Street and Washington Avenue. Placing the clock at this major thoroughfare leading into Uptown Whittier will make it more visible for people driving in the area, while still being easily accessible to pedestrians who wish to take a closer look.

Proposed site for the Centennial Clock relocation.
Click on the above picture to view a larger version of the proposed site.

The Barefoot Boy sculpture will be moved to the east side of the Whittier Main Library; a walled-in patio will be open for this purpose. The Barefoot Boy will look as it did in its first location, with the young boy fishing in a flower surrounded pond, with frogs and squirrels for company and visible to those entering the Library from the parking lot.

Barefoot Boy proposed placement   Barefoot Boy proposed location 2
Click on the above pictures to view larger versions of the proposed site.

The Centennial Clock was a gift to the City from the Centennial Clock Committee, and was dedicated on May 8, 1987. The four-sided, cast aluminum clock, which stands 16 feet high, is a reproduction of an English Victorian street clock.

The Barefoot Boy was a gift to the City from the Whittier Centennial Barefoot Boy Committee, and was dedicated on June 3 1988. The life-sized bronze sculpture of a 10-year-old and his trusty fishing pole was created by Southern California artist Tita Hupp. The sculpture was inspired by “The Barefoot Boy,” one of John Greenleaf Whittier’s best known and best loved poems, the first stanza of which reads “Blessings on thee, little man; barefoot boy with cheeks of tan” and ends with the immortal words, “I was once a barefoot boy,” a nostalgic reference to everyone’s childhood.