Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, along with members of his family, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commisioner Cynthia Ruiz, District Director Doug Failing and Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, reads the plaque honoring his mother, Natalia A. Delgado.


Issue Date: 06/2008

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the City of Los Angeles Hold Tree Dedication Ceremony in District 7 Building Plaza

By Yessica Jovel, Caltrans Public Affairs

On May 22, 2008, hundreds of people gathered at the District 7 Building Plaza to honor the lives of six people who made significant contributions to the City of Los Angeles, and Caltrans.

Newly-planted Ginko boloba trees, which are thought to be the oldest living seed plant in the world, were dedicated in remembrance: the late Natalia A. Delgado, a long term dedicated Caltrans employee and mother of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Ira Yellin, who was instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Los Angeles, and an important partner in the development of the District 7 Building; Wendie Jo Sperber and Stuart Sperber, daughter and brother of Burton Sperber, CEO of ValleyCrest Tree Company, the donor of the trees; Clive Sonde, the late vice president and field superintendent of Clark Construction, builders of the District Office Building; and Micheal Del Rico, a steel worker from the Herrick Company, who sadly fell to his untimely death while working on this building.  

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who attended the event with members of his family, said, “We remember coming to Caltrans with my mother; it was a part of our family, a place we call home. We celebrate my mother and all of those who are here, and are thankful that we could do this today.”

District 7 Director Doug Failing, who served as master of ceremonies, acknowledged the City of Los Angeles, Morphosis Architects, Clark Construction and Valley Crest Nursery for coming together to form a successful partnership that worked to beautify and improve the District Building, and downtown Los Angeles. 

“By ‘Going Green’ we are taking action, we are showing our concern for the preservation, restoration and improvement of our natural environment,” Failing said. Others in attendance included Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Cynthia Ruiz, Rita Robinson, General Manager, LADOT and Lisa Sarno, who represented the Los Angeles Million Tree Initiative.


District Director Doug Failing, Los Angeles Board of Public Works Commissioner Cynthia Ruiz, Mayor Villaraigosa and Deputy District Director of Maintenance Jim Hammer getting ready to unveil the plaque in honor of Stuart Sperber. District Director Doug Failing at the podium next to (L to R) Commissioner Cynthia Ruiz, Mayor Villaraigosa and Los Angeles Councilman and Council President Eric Garcetti. Caltrans and City of Los Angeles employees, along with friends and family members of honorees listen to Mayor Villaraigosa as he delivers his remarks.