The iconic and historic La Laguna de San Gabriel playground at Vincent Lugo Park may soon be listed on the National Register of Historic Places after an important vote last week.
On Oct. 28, the State Historic Resources Commission voted to approve the playground's nomination, supported by the city. The successful effort to earn the nomination was led by volunteers with the community group Friends of La Laguna, which has fought to preserve the playground for several years, along with the San Gabriel Historical Association and other community volunteers.
La Laguna de San Gabriel playground was built in 1965 with 14 concrete sea creatures designed by famous Mexican artist Benjamin Dominguez. Friends of La Laguna has worked hard to preserve the park, recently completing a restoration on the “Ozzie the Octopus” structure.
The playground is designated at a city landmark by the City of San Gabriel, and is also listed on the California Register of Historic Places.
“This may be the first time that a playground has been successfully nominated, in this case because of its connection to the extraordinary folk art design of its creator, Benjamin Dominguez -- and a testament to the efforts of San Gabriel residents to preserve it,” City Manager Steve Preston said, “It is historic, it is a cultural landscape and it is an active, living playground. We are fortunate to have the largest, relatively intact collection of Dominguez’ mythical creatures.”
The nomination for the National Register of Historic Places will now go to the Keeper of the National Register in Washington, D.C. for final approval.
For more information, contact the Community Services Department at 626.308.2875.