Offbeat: Hard News

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By: Nu Yang

Offbeat: Hard News

Leon Rudek was a machinist for the Los Angeles Times for 27 years before he retired in 1991. Although Rudek passed away 11 years later at age 75, he found a way to cement his love for newspapers—literally.

In front of his Highland Park house, Rudek constructed a sidewalk made out of front page plates. According to a Times story, Rudek used the plastic printing plates as molds for the concrete front pages. At the end of his shift, Rudek would gather some of the more interesting front page plates and take them home. There, he put them in homemade molds and poured concrete on top. Once the heavy panels had hardened, he peeled away the plates to reveal readable images of front pages etched in concrete. He used 60 of them to form the sidewalk.

“He lived and breathed the newspaper. Everything was Otis Chandler (Times publisher from 1960-1980) this and Otis Chandler that. We were immersed in L.A. Times lore,” said his son, Norbert Rudek.

The current homeowners plan to preserve Rudek’s work.

Published: May 7, 2014

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