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New Wells Fargo branch on Main Street showcases Alhambra history

Alhambra residents and city leaders celebrated the grand opening of Wells Fargo’s new Main Street branch on Saturday with Lunar New Year dancers, a live stagecoach for photos, and the unveiling of a mural featuring old photographs of Alhambra. The 12-foot-wide mural includes photos of Alhambra City Hall in 1910, and circa 1920s scenes of fire station, a Valley Boulevard produce shop, and a view of Main Street.

Councilwoman Barbara Messina admires the Wells Fargo mural.

Euphemia Rybicki, 91, contacted the Alhambra Wells Fargo branch manager after she saw a photo of the mural in the Chamber of Commerce's monthly publication, "Around Alhambra," according to a press release from the bank. She spotted herself at age 5 in one of the photos, posing with her family and uniformed attendants at her father’s service station on Valley and Fremont Avenue in the 1920s. 

“This is absolutely unbelievable,” she said during her speech at the grand opening.

Rybicki moved to Alhambra in 1925 after her father contracted tuberculosis in Chicago, according to the Los Angeles Times. "It was believed at that time that the only cure for TB was sunshine," she told the Times. The family settled in Alhambra when her father bought a double-sized lot on Fremont and Valley and opened a gas station.

Rybicki lived in Alhambra for 77 years, graduating from Alhambra High School and later working as an administrator for the Alhambra Unified School District. She went on to be the first female Alhambra Chamber of Commerce president. 

Congresswoman Judy Chu chats with council members Barbara Messina and Stephen Sham

Congresswoman Judy Chu also took the podium at the event to congratulate the Wells Fargo branch for its environmental initiatives. The building is Gold LEED certified and even has carpets made from recycled jeans. Chu also commended the branch for its contributions to local Alhambra organizations, such as $1,000 donations each to the Alhambra High School Marching Band, YMCA West San Gabriel Valley, and Granada Elementary School.

Wells Fargo's new Alhambra branch and mural is located at 701 E. Main Street. 

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