Rachel Reeves

Redondo Beach City Council approves Meistrell statue

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A miniature model of the sculpture authorized to be installed at Seaside Lagoon. Photo courtesy of the City of Redondo Beach

A miniature model of the sculpture authorized to be installed at Seaside Lagoon. Photo courtesy of the City of Redondo Beach

The City Council has authorized the installation of a life-sized bronze statue in memory of brothers Bob and Bill Meistrell at the entrance to Seaside Lagoon.

The Meistrell brothers founded Body Glove International and, from their Redondo Beach shop, invented the modern wetsuit.

“Bob and Bill Meistrell are rockstars in Redondo Beach… They’re heroes, so whatever we can do to accommodate this thing [we will do],” Mayor Steve Aspel said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Bill passed away in 2006, and Bob last year. At Bob’s memorial event on Sept. 15, a committee from the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiated a fundraising campaign to raise money for a statue memorializing the Meistrell legacy.

The budget for the statue – a bronze sculpture inspired by a photograph taken in 1949, replete with lighting and three benches – is an estimated $131,000.

The campaign raised over $182,000 within just one day.

Leftover money will be earmarked for ongoing maintenance and the potential relocation of the sculpture, should its placement interfere with the forthcoming waterfront revitalization project.

The sculpture’s anticipated installation date is April 1. Chris Barela, formerly a professional surfer who most recently completed a sculpture of Tim Kelly in Hermosa Beach, has been selected to design and create it.

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