Here’s The Story Behind The Massive Chicken Boy Statue In Southern California
When driving or walking around Highland Park, a bizarre figure will likely catch your eye. Standing sentinel over this neighborhood in East L.A. is a statue simply known as Chicken Boy. Most people who see it may shrug it off as simply another urban eccentricity, but longtime Angelenos know that this statue has been around for a long, long time – and it’s truly beloved! Here’s the story behind Highland Park’s famous Chicken Boy.
Chicken Boy - also known as "the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles" - is a 22-foot-tall chicken statue on North Figueroa Street in Highland Park. Believe it or not, there's a unique story to how this bizarre statue came to be an L.A. icon.
Chicken Boy's story dates back to the late 1960s when he was built for the Chicken Boy Fried Chicken Restaurant. It was purchased from International Fiberglass Company in Venice which specialized in selling Paul Bunyan and Muffler Man statues at the time.
The restaurant purchased a statue and hired an artist to customize it into the creation that you see today. Instead of Paul Bunyan wielding an ax, you see Chicken Boy holding a bucket of chicken!
The statue was perched atop the restaurant's three-story building until 1984 when the restaurant's owner passed away. But what would happen to Chicken Boy? An adoring fan of the statue and an artist, Amy Inouye made it her mission to make sure Chicken Boy's legacy would live on.
After trying and failing to find a new home for Chicken Boy, Inouye ended up storing the statue for 23 years. She finally managed to find a place for Chicken Boy in 2007, when it was moved to its current location on N. Figueroa Street.
Since then, the Chicken Boy statue has been preserved through community effort and donated funds. It was even recognized with the Governor's Historic Preservation Award in 2010 by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
This ain't just a chicken statue. Chicken Boy is a reminder of Los Angeles' wacky personality and the importance of community. The next time you drive by Chicken Boy, be sure to give him a wave hello!
Did you know the story behind L.A.’s Chicken Boy? It’s always fun to dig into the history behind these bizarre sights! Share your thoughts and Chicken Boy memories with us in the comments below.
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