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Hollywood

Steve McQueen, 'The King of Cool,' May Get Shabby L.A. Intersection Named After Him

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Mon, Nov 1, 2010 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Hollywood icon Steve McQueen
  • Hollywood icon Steve McQueen
Nicknamed "The King of Cool," the late great movie star Steve McQueen, who often sported a unique sense of style in his films, may get a shabby intersection named after him if Los Angeles City Council members have their way.

On Tuesday, the City Council will vote on whether or not to turn the unattractive cross streets of Santa Monica Boulevard and Highland Avenue, which showcases a gas station, a dumpy shopping center, and a huge storage facility, into "Steve McQueen Square."

It may be one of the least cool places in all of Hollywood.

L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge is pushing for the location, with City Council President Eric Garcetti backing him up.

Whatever logic LaBonge and Garcetti used to come up with that intersection is beyond us -- in the official motion that LaBonge wrote and Garcetti seconded, there's nothing that shows the locale is based on historical considerations, such as McQueen hung out there.

We wouldn't be surprised if there's a big development project planned for that site and it's a half-baked attempt to spruce up the neighborhood.

In fact, we drove over to Santa Monica and Highland and found that one corner was just a big pile of dirt. We took a look around and also saw a construction trailer and a deep hole in the ground, so it appears someone's building something there.

The intersection is part of the Hollywood Media District, a business improvement zone. Are LaBonge and Garcetti trying to use the McQueen name for the monetary benefit of local businesses, rather than merely honoring the movie star as the motion reads?

In his movies, McQueen actually made San Francisco more famous than Los Angeles -- Bullitt and The Towering Inferno were both set in the city by the bay.

But McQueen, who died nearly 30 years ago on November 7, 1980, lived in and around L.A., and he's one of our favorites. So we're happy to hear that a politician wants to name something after him... but just not there!

After all, James Dean got a statue and plaque near the Griffith Observatory, so can't we come up with something better for McQueen?

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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