Original panel drawings on ‘Snoopy Bridge’ in Tarzana get restored

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A beloved Tarzana landmark featuring Charles Schulz’s iconic “Peanuts” cartoon characters is getting a long-necessary facelift, thanks to the efforts of one Snoopy fan on a mission. But it wasn’t easy.

“I started to lose my patience,” said Reseda resident Kirk Donovan, after sending dozens of texts and emails and just as many phone calls to the City of Los Angeles. He was calling their attention to a painted graffiti mask that had appeared suddenly on a Charlie Brown cartoon panel affixed to a bridge over Wilbur Ave, directly adjacent to Tarzana Elementary School.

The panel is just one of a dozen on the pedestrian bridge, referred to by many as the “Snoopy Bridge,” which has delighted Peanuts fans for decades. When Donovan first saw the mask, he also noticed damage to the other pictures, including bullet holes, graffiti, dirt, and rust.

“At first, I thought, ‘Well, they’ll fix it. They’ll come along and fix this,’” said Donovan. “It’ll be fine.”

But then, nearly three years passed, said Donovan, and despite contacting the school, the city’s department of transportation, and even some council members, no one seemed interested enough to do anything.

So he did a deep dive, researching the bridge’s background and its association with Charles M. Schulz himself, the beloved artist behind the iconic cartoon who died in 2000.

What Donovan found was that the drawings – featuring all the favorite characters, including Charlie, Lucy, Linus, Sally, and Snoopy – were original designs, sketched and signed by Schulz himself. The panels on the bridge – scarred now with graffiti – are public works of art, owned by the artists’ foundation, based in Santa Rosa, California.

In his research, Donovan discovered that Schulz knew a PTA member at the elementary school personally, and drew the sketches as a favor.

After four months and an outpouring of “Good Griefs!” on social media from Peanuts fans all over the country, Donovan finally caught the city’s ear. A few weeks ago, five of the panels with the worst damage were removed and sent to Hattas Studios in downtown Los Angeles, a business Donovan himself recommended.

“The panels were in pretty bad shape when we got them down,” said owner Jeanine Hattas. “We were very, very proud to be a part of restoring them.”

All five are scheduled to be unveiled on Monday, June 10. Hattas Studios will restore the remaining seven in the next few weeks.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.