Over the next three years, the cherished La Laguna de San Gabriel playground will undergo a remarkable restoration, sculpt by sculpt, ensuring its status as a timeless source of joy and wonder for future generations.
Already, significant milestones have marked the restoration journey, with the completion of the Sea Serpent Lighthouse and the playful pirate seals. Ozzie the Octopus is expected to be restored to its original purple hue and will have his tentacles firmly fixed. Following up, Sammy the Snail will receive enhancements for a safer landing and added shade, reverting to its original red and yellow colors. Stella the Starfish is undergoing a paint removal process while the colorful dolphin crew - Flipper, Speedy and Peanut - alongside Minnie the Whale, also eagerly await their dazzling new paint job.
In collaboration with California Restoration and Waterproofing, as well as Martinez Concrete, Inc., this project aims to breathe new life into these beloved structures while keeping the sand-filled lagoon open for play throughout the restoration process.
Renowned for its whimsical play structures crafted from steel and colored concrete by Mexican artist Benjamin Dominguez, La Laguna playground has earned its place among the nation’s coolest playgrounds, recognized by Yahoo. Additionally, it holds a prestigious place in the California Register of Historic Places and has been designated as a local landmark.
Driving this restoration initiative is the non-profit organization, Friends of La Laguna, supported by the San Gabriel City Council, Assemblymember Mike Fong, Supervisor Hilda Solis, and the Pasadena City College Foundation’s Community Excellence grant. Their combined efforts, totaling $388,000, underscore the community's commitment to preserving this cultural gem.
Beyond restoring the mystical creatures, Friends of La Laguna plans to install an informational kiosk and offer educational walking tours, sharing the playground's rich history and enchanting story with the community.
For further updates and information on Friends of La Laguna, visit friendsoflalaguna.com or follow their social media Instagram: @friendsoflaguna.