updated 10/26/2010 7:15:53 AM ET 2010-10-26T11:15:53

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Los Angeles International Airport's (LAX's) Gateway, one of the most recognizable landmarks in Los Angeles, officially turned 10 on Monday. Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Bill Rosendahl joined airport officials to applaud the organizations charged with the gateway's design and construction.

"Commemorating our landmarks is part of loving Los Angeles," Councilmember LaBonge said. "You know you've arrived at LAX when you see those glowing pylons and the beautiful landscape that surrounds them. Behind every great landmark is a team of people who work day and night to make it very special."

"It's tough to make your mark as a cultural icon at one of the most iconic airports in the world, but Ted Tanaka and the LAX Gateway Enhancement Project managed to do just that," Councilmember Rosendahl said. "I'm delighted to celebrate this great accomplishment on its 10th Anniversary." 

"The Gateway Enhancement Project is a world-class iconic landmark that has come to symbolize LAX's spirit of modernization, efficiency and service to the traveling public," said Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsay. The celebration culminated with the unveiling of a plaque honoring principal architect, Ted Tokio Tanaka, for his vision. The plaque was installed in the flag courtyard, garden-enclosed area nestled in the center of the 15 gateway pylons that represent the 15 City districts.

"I am delighted that the LAX Gateway Enhancement Project has become a  landmark of our City," Tanaka said.  "Our goal was to create a beautiful airport with a sense of arrival, place and identity for the busiest public facilities in this region. I want to share this achievement with my Conceptual Design Team and the many people who have contributed to realize this achievement."

Ten years ago, the nearly $112-million enhancements that established the iconic landscape of LAX were in their final stages. The 100-foot-high pylons were in place and were lit with a series of colors in a lighting program created by local artist, Paul Tzanetopoulos. The 32-foot-high, illuminated letters spelling out "LAX" marked the entrance to the international airport and much of the mature vegetation had been planted, including the palm trees lining Century Blvd. from Aviation Blvd. Other considerations by the architect included signage, walkways and lighting to increase the LAX world-renowned ease of maneuverability. 

The LAX Gateway Enhancement Project was launched in August 8, 2000, and has since become a modern icon of the City of Los Angeles, welcoming millions of visitors annually to Los Angeles. 

About LAX

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the seventh busiest airport in the world, offering more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations in the U.S. and over 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 66 international destinations on over 75 carriers. LAX served 56.5 million passengers and handled more than 1.6 million tons of air cargo in 2009. LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), a department of the City of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles World Airports logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7299

About Ted Tokio Tanaka, FAIA

Over the past 30 years, Ted Tokio Tanaka has made significant contributions to the cultivation of the Greater Los Angeles urban landscape. Tanaka's architecture reflects his commitment to the creation of innovative space that asserts clarity, simplicity and elegance. From intimate residential projects to high-profile public projects, Tanaka's signature buildings are marked by a poetic arrangement of clear geometric forms, the abundance of natural light, open space and the subtle fusion of Eastern and Western architectural traditions. His design excellence has received national and international recognition, acknowledged through numerous awards, publications, lectures and exhibitions of his work.

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