01/16/2023 10:00 AM


For Immediate Release
Jan. 16, 2023

LAX Public Relations 
(424) 646-5260


Left: Patina specialist Sachika Iwata, of Modern Art Foundry, works to refresh the aged patina of former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s bronze portrait which was cast by the foundry in 1987. The restoration services include using heat to warm the surface of the metal, applying specific patina chemicals to create the requested color, and protecting the patina with sculpture wax. Right: The statue of Mayor Bradley stands in its former location in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal prior to its restoration.

(Los Angeles) After nearly three years off view to the public while it underwent professional conservation, the famed bronze portrait bust of former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley is finally back at the namesake Tom Bradley International Terminal and ready to be installed in its new permanent home at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) later this year.

The bust, a 10-foot-tall bronze and granite sculpture created by artist Serge Sarkis in 1987 and gifted to LAX by Mayor Bradley – Los Angeles' first black mayor, who served for 20 years in office – was removed from its former location outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal entrance in 2020 during construction work on the building. Prior to the move, the art had greeted tens of millions of travelers for more than 30 years and was a popular location for photos beneath the main entrance to the international terminal.

"Former Mayor Tom Bradley was an icon of Los Angeles and has become synonymous with our beloved international terminal that welcomes millions of people from around the world each year," said Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer, Los Angeles World Airports. "We are proud to help conserve and restore the famous bust of Mayor Bradley, so that it may shine anew as it continues to greet travelers for decades to come."

During the work, the LAX art team has overseen the careful restoration and conservation of the bust by Sculpture Conservation Studio, Carnevale & Lohr and Modern Art Foundry. Sculpture Conservation Studio was key in preparing the sculpture for its removal as well as cleaning and preparing the surface for the addition of a new patina to the bronze. Carnevale & Lohr spearheaded the removal and crating of the sculpture as well as fabrication of its base plate. The original fabricator, Modern Art Foundry, sent a team from New York to refresh the aged patina of the sculpture’s surface.

Project manager Jeffrey Spring and patina specialist Sachika Iwata provided patina restoration services that included using heat to warm the surface of the metal, applying specific patina chemicals to create a custom color, and protecting the patina with sculpture wax. Carnevale & Lohr executed the safe delivery of the piece back to LAX in December of 2022.

The restoration work was completed at a cost of about $65,000 and was funded by Los Angeles World Airports through the City of Los Angeles’ Public Art Program and LAWA’s Capital Improvement Program.

The airport is completing work on the vertical cores of multiple terminals, including the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Work on these multi-level additions or new facilities began in the spring of 2019. In addition to providing vertical circulation and connection to the Automated People Mover (APM) system, these cores also provide space that can be used for offices, baggage claims, restrooms, lounges, or other airport uses, as determined by LAX and its partners. In total, seven cores will provide access from the terminals to the APM system.

The Tom Bradley core will connect to the West Central Terminal Area (CTA) station and is oriented for easy travel, with vertical conveyances connecting departures, arrivals, APM Levels and office spaces. Departing passengers will walk off the APM West Central Terminal Area Station pedestrian walkway and be greeted by the iconic Tom Bradley bust in a three-story open atrium full of natural light.

Upon entering the atrium, passengers will have an elevated view of the ticketing level. Their view will orientate them to their surroundings and provide wayfinding, flight information and vertical conveyance. In the future, ticketing kiosks and self-service baggage drops will be available. Other customers who need to check in at the Tom Bradley ticket counters will utilize the vertical circulation of the core to reach the ticket counters and use the self-service baggage drops.

The Tom Bradley core partially opened in late 2021, with domestic passengers arriving at the terminal using it to reach a new baggage claim carousel. The newly conserved sculpture will be debut in its new location within the Tom Bradley International Terminal’s entrance on the Departures Level in late 2023.

Above: The bronze bust of former LA Mayor Tom Bradley is shown in an artist rendering of its new location in the forthcoming Automated People Mover entry rotunda of Tom Bradley International Terminal. The status will be installed later this year. Below: The bust is shown in its original location in front of the Tom Bradley International Terminal prior to its removal for conservation work.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
LAX, the fourth-busiest airport in the world and second busiest in the United States, was named a top-10 U.S. airport by SKYTRAX. LAX served more than 87.5 million passengers in 2018 and offers an average of 700 daily nonstop flights to 109 cities in the U.S. and 1,281 weekly nonstop flights to 93 markets in 47 countries on 69 commercial airlines. LAX ranks 10th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed, with more than 2.4 million tons of air cargo. LAX handled 707,883 operations (landings and takeoffs) in 2018.

LAX generated 620,600 jobs in Southern California, with labor income of $37.3 billion and economic output (business revenues) of more than $126.6 billion, according to an economic study based on 2014 operations. This activity added $6.2 billion to local and state revenues and $8.7 billion in federal tax revenues. The study also reported that LAX’s ongoing capital improvement program creates an additional 121,640 annual jobs with labor income of $7.6 billion and economic output of $20.3 billion; $966 million in state and local taxes; and $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.

LAX was honored as having the “Best Overall Customer Service Program” by Airports Council International-North America; named the “Best Airport for Breastfeeding Moms” by Mamava; selected for the Top 10 “Best of the U.S.’s Big Airports” (Wall Street Journal) and “Most Pet-Friendly Airports in the U.S. (Mental Floss); named the second-most improved airport in the U.S. by JD Power; received an “Innovation Award” from the L.A. Better Business Challenge for its Central Utility Plant; and named a “Business Leader in Air Quality” by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

LAX is also the second-most popular airport in the world to appear on Instagram, according to wego.com. LAX is part of a system of two Southern California airports – along with Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.

For more information about LAX, please visit    www.flyLAX.com or follow on Twitter   @flyLAXAirport, on Facebook at    www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport, and on YouTube at  www.YouTube.com/laxairport1

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