Heritage walk rendering

This rendering shows a heritage walk medallion.

How did Manuel Nieto touch what is now North Long Beach? Did the Watts Riots reach into the neighborhoods there?

Answers to those questions and much more are part of the For The Record project unveiled Monday, Nov. 18. It took a partnership amongst Long Beach Heritage, nonprofits City Fabrick and We Are Next, Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson’s office and students from Cal State Fullerton’s public history program to make it happen.

For The Record is made up of interactive signs called medallions installed on light poles, bus stop shelters and other street furniture along Atlantic Avenue from Jordan High School (Artesia Boulevard) to the Michelle Obama Library (South Street). The smart signs are capable of telling a brief tale or showing a video, all stored in the digital storehouse at lbtimeline.com.

Richardson said, "the interactive timeline of North Long Beach history (is) designed to empower local residents to love and advocate for their neighborhood."

Long Beach Heritage, well known for its walks discovering the historic and cultural aspects of Long Beach neighborhoods takes much the same approach with For The Record.

"Every weekday, hundreds of local teens walk this path," the Heritage website says of the For The Record project. "They will be exposed to the history of their city and discover the place they call home. Though the area has not traditionally participated in mainstream types of historic recognition, such as designating buildings as historic landmarks, this project looks to instill preservation values within the community through a fresh approach."

The timeline stretches from the Nieto land grant in 1784 to the completion of the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in 2016. Long Beach Heritage conducted a public fund-raising campaign to get the money for installation.

Heritage's first guided tour is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. For more information about the project or Long Beach Heritage, go to lbheritage.org.

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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