Vincent Lugo Park

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Vincent Lugo Park

Postby Brenda R » Wed Jul 16, 2003 8:45 pm

I'm a writer with LA Parent who needs to find out more historical information about the wild sea life statuary that's a part of the charming Laguna de San Gabriel playground at Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel.

What do you know? Can you help?

Thanks!

Brenda R

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Postby nichols » Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:36 pm


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Postby nichols » Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 pm

Los Angeles Times


January 12, 1997

Column: So SoCal

Creative Playthings


Author: Amy Pyle

Los Angeles Times Magazine



10 . . . 9 . . . 8 . . . 7 . . .

In parks here and there around Los Angeles stand a few lingering monuments to a space race unknown to most of the youngsters who scale them--blunt-nosed rockets, bug-eyed robots, gangly space stations. Regardless of model, their construction is nearly identical: towering sculptures of steel ladders and bars and the slickest slides imaginable, which launch children out into the sand like so many human missiles. They are hard to overlook, these 30-year-old relics that are closer cousins to the park's metal bike racks and cyclone fences than to the newer generations of wood-and-plastic climbing apparatus.

Playground historian Joe Frost included a nod to them in an article for the winter 1989 issue of Children's Environments Quarterly: "By the early 1960s a wide array of novelty equipment, including Western theme villages, novel slides, theme equipment such as sharks and octopus rockers and rocket play structures inspired by Sputnik, were springing up around the country."

The sharks and octopuses are long gone, and rivet by rivet, bolt by bolt, the rockets, too, are giving way to the amalgamations of bridges, platforms and spiral slides that now populate the world of play. At Arcadia Park, the decline began when entire floors of a multistory rocket were barricaded because of liability concerns. Then cyclical paint touch-ups were halted, supplanted by blooming rust. Finally, a virtual city of primary-colored equipment arrived, replacing the rocket shell.

Still, the survivors stand proud. The 30-foot rocket at Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel had its metal nosecone traded for a fiberglass one, which has been liberally adorned inside by "Sereno" and his tagging buddies. Last year's overhaul of the park left the Gemini (not its official name, but it does have two reclining seats) virtually untouched save for fresh paint on its two fins. It dwarfs the newer structures, drawing children's attention. Yet mothers of preschoolers steer them away in Spanish, Chinese and English alike. Not that one. Too dangerous. Tai wei shen. Cuidado. Be careful.


Marion Pepe once brought her grandson to play wildly on the canary yellow robot that dominates Glenoaks Park near her Glendale home. Twenty years later, she comes with her 18-month-old great-grandson, not to play yet, but to watch older kids climb to the top and send sand bombs down the slides. "They get around to painting it once in a while," she remarks.

Asked if the galvanized giant has a name, Glenoaks Park visitors are as likely to say "The Rocket" as "The Robot." Beyond that, not even Pepe has a clue of its history. Perhaps references to this country's surprise and shame when the Soviets "beat us" by launching the first satellite, touching off a years-long obsession with things space, are just too obscure. Not one of the structures looks like the more familiar space shuttle.

Just a canyon away from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Altadena, 3-year-old Nicholas Stover is manning the radar tower that protects a space station in Farnsworth Park. Asked what he's doing, he says, "Driving." Is he headed for Venus, Mars or even the moon? "No," he says. "I drive a car."


Caption:

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Historical stuff

Postby Brenda R » Fri Jul 18, 2003 8:03 am

For those who are interested...here's what I discovered about the Dinosaur Park...anybody know more about this Benjamin Dominguez? The Mexico City School of Concrete Art! Who knew?


Vincent Lugo Park, Wells and Ramona Streets, San Gabriel, (626) 308-2875. Open daily 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Free.

Tucked away in the San Gabriel Valley is a charming and expansive park that features three play areas, plenty of picnic tables and room to run. Toddlers will find appropriate slides and swings in the enclosed “Kiddie Korralâ€￾ while across a field, bigger kids can climb a tall rocket ship or spin themselves silly on a merry-go-round.

But maybe the best reason to visit is hidden behind a baseball field where mysterious creatures beckon. The whimsical “Laguna de San Gabrielâ€￾ playground is a colorful collection of oversized cement sea creatures that double as slides, climbing structures and fodder for imaginative play.

Here kids can slither down the backs of sea snails and sea serpents that are coiled around rocks and real live trees. The tip of a red pirate ship sinks into the sand while nearby seals longingly gaze from atop of rocks.

The playground was designed and constructed from 1964-65 by Benjamin Dominguez, a graduate of Mexico City’s School of Concrete Art, who was assisted by some of his nine sons. Total cost of the project: $12,000. Dominguez is credited with creating similar original concrete playgrounds in Garden Grove, Beverly Hills, El Paso, and Las Vegas, many with nautical themes. Sources conflict, but Dominguez was at least 70 years old when he constructed the sandy lagoon.

Dominguez’s technique was simple: pouring concrete into mesh wire frames and then molding the forms by hand. The result is a gentle art-filled environment where kids can slide through Minnie the Whale’s mouth, climb up and over Ozzie the Octopus, hide underneath Stella the Starfish and frolic with Flipper, Speedy and Peanuts the Dolphins.

Like many kids, my 4-year-old daughter Katie refers to this area as “The Dinosaur Parkâ€￾ even though there’s nary a prehistoric critter to be found here. Perhaps, the name refers to a child’s sense of wonder and discovery about unearthing such a fossilized treasure in the sand.

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Postby nichols » Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:53 am

I don't know who this guy is, but this sculpture in San Diego's Balboa Park is spectacular! Kids crawl all over it just like at Lugo.
http://www.happydisney.com/2002-03/0315.htm

I'm a huge fan of de Saint Phalle.

"Poet and Muse" stands just a few feet from the snake
http://www.aaa-calif.com/westways/0902/ ... ance_2.asp

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Dinosaur Park

Postby Spike » Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:18 pm


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VINCENT LUGO PARK THREATENED

Postby nichols » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:08 pm

VINCENT LUGO PARK THREATENED

Here is some new information from writer Brenda Rees:



...I wanted to pass along this information about something that's happening at
Vincent Lugo Park in San Gabriel.

I just heard from some concerend citizens that the city is planning to tear
down a wonderful playground in the park that's called "Laguna de San
Gabriel" better known as the dinosaur park. Lots of these great sea
creatures casted in concrete. Done in the 1960s by this top concrete Mexican
artist with his sons. (Why it's called Dinosaur park, I don't know!)

Senya and Eloy Zarate are spearheading a movement to stop the plan. They are
planning a demonstration and picnic at the park this weekend. Eloy says he
will "chain himself to the snail" if bulldozers come...

What's the chances of getting the ModCom behind saving this great hidden
treasure?


For your reference, here's a tidbit I wrote about the park three years ago
for LA Parent Magazine:


Vincent Lugo Park, Wells and Ramona Streets, San Gabriel, (626) 308-2875.
Open daily 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Free.

Tucked away in the San Gabriel Valley is a charming and expansive park that
features three play areas, plenty of picnic tables and room to run. Toddlers
will find appropriate slides and swings in the enclosed "Kiddie Korral"
while across a field, bigger kids can climb a tall rocket ship or spin
themselves silly on a merry-go-round.

But maybe the best reason to visit is hidden behind a baseball field where
mysterious creatures beckon. The whimsical "Laguna de San Gabriel"
playground is a colorful collection of oversized cement sea creatures that
double as slides, climbing structures and fodder for imaginative play.

Here kids can slither down the backs of sea snails and sea serpents that are
coiled around rocks and real live trees. The tip of a red pirate ship sinks
into the sand while nearby seals longingly gaze from atop of rocks.

The playground was designed and constructed from 1964-65 by Benjamin
Dominguez, a graduate of Mexico City's School of Concrete Art, who was
assisted by some of his nine sons. Total cost of the project: $12,000.
Dominguez is credited with creating similar original concrete playgrounds in
Garden Grove, Beverly Hills, El Paso, and Las Vegas, many with nautical
themes. Sources conflict, but Dominguez was at least 70 years old when he
constructed the sandy lagoon.

Dominguez's technique was simple: pouring concrete into mesh wire frames and
then molding the forms by hand. The result is a gentle art-filled
environment where kids can slide through Minnie the Whale's mouth, climb up
and over Ozzie the Octopus, hide underneath Stella the Starfish and frolic
with Flipper, Speedy and Peanuts the Dolphins.

Like many kids, my 4-year-old daughter Katie refers to this area as "The
Dinosaur Park" even though there's nary a prehistoric critter to be found
here. Perhaps, the name refers to a child's sense of wonder and discovery
about unearthing such a fossilized treasure in the sand.

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Postby nichols » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:11 pm


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Postby nichols » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:15 pm

The Conservancy office is working on this issue. It will be presented at the next MODCOM meeting on Monday, Nov. 20.

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Postby nichols » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:50 pm

San Gabriel Grapevine Newsletter
Autumn, 2006


Vincent Lugo Park Improvements to
Benefit Community
Climbing structures to be replaced

Just about anyone who lives in San Gabriel and has
spent some time in Vincent Lugo Park, recognizes the
much-beloved park is showing its age. Help, however, is
on the way.The San Gabriel City Council recently
approved a master plan to renovate the park. Funding is
now in place from various programs and organizations
that will preserve, expand and improve open spaces and
provide better access to recreational activities.
One of the key elements of the project’s first
phase includes developing a new children’s playground
area to replace the Laguna de San Gabriel area, known
as Dinosaur Park. Although a popular play area consisting
of large concrete climbing structures resembling sea
creatures, the once vibrant, eye-catching Dinosaur Park
has received a lot of wear and tear over the years, and
due to safety and maintenance concerns, the climbing
structures must be removed.
This is an exciting time for the City and the community
to work together to improve park space.
Removing the play area provides an opportunity to
develop a new children’s playground. As part of the
design development, the City is turning to members of the community who know playgrounds best—our children! With the help of
youth in our San Gabriel schools, the City will design a playground that incorporates a new water feature, includes elements that are
reminiscent of the Laguna and is unique to the community.The new playground will be a key element of the new Lugo Park, attracting
youth and adults throughout San Gabriel and the Los Angeles region.
The first project phase also includes a youth-sized sports field, a number of ball-field renovations and the addition of a pedestrian trail,
dry-bed collection stream and riverbed bank and basin. Another important feature of the first phase will be an interpretive outdoor classroom
providing invaluable opportunities to educate the public about the adjacent Alhambra Wash, an important watershed resource.
The master plan was a collaborative effort among neighborhood residents, the City, the San Gabriel Unified School District, the
Rivers and Mountain Conservancy (RMC) and Los Angeles County.The
project has been largely supported by a variety of funding partners.The
City of San Gabriel was initially awarded a $75,000 grant from the RMC in
2004 to develop the master plan. Last May, the RMC authorized a grant of
$500,000 to implement the master plan. In addition, the City recently
received $100,000 in Los Angeles County Measure A funding. The City has
also submitted an application for additional funds that are available through
the competitive trails grant program funded by the Los Angeles County
5th Supervisorial District.
Renovation construction is tentatively slated to begin fall 2007. For
more information about the Vincent Lugo Park Master Plan, please
call the Parks and Recreation Department at (626) 308-2875.

http://www.leavcom.com/pdf/SGfall2006.pdf

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Postby BOXOUTBM » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:09 pm

Wow I can't believe they want to remove the Dinosaurs. Now its just going to be a regular Park. Nothing Special. I am disapointed in reading this.

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And I'll bet

Postby modfan » Thu Nov 16, 2006 8:21 am

They'll replace them with those plastic thingy's that they put in playgrounds now, so it'll look like every other park, and probably not be any less expensive to maintain.

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Actually....

Postby BLRees » Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:32 am

They want to tear down the park and make room for...of all things!...a soccer field! There is a baseball diamond right across from La Laguna and they want to put a soccer field there!

Aside note: The Friends of La Laguna are collecting signatures to present to the San Gabriel Park and Rec Board Commission's next meeting on Dec. 5.

They will be out canvasing the city as well as stationed at the park this Saturday Dec. 2. Kick off rally from 8-9am. They are looking for folks to help collect signatures and show their support for saving and preserving the park.

Bring the kids, pack a snack. Help save the park....

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Postby Spike » Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:13 pm

I missed the November Modcom meeting, but I'll make the trip to San Gabriel for the rally on Saturday. (And make a stop at Bahooka, of course.)

Is Modcom able to take any action on this?

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Postby nichols » Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:34 pm

YES! We have Conservancy staff out there today working on this. Stay tuned.

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San Gabriel Council Meeting/Rally

Postby Spike » Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:32 am

Got this email on Thursday.


Hello Everyone,

Well things have really picked up with the mission of saving the park. We are sending out this email because we need help. The daily tasks of the FOLL have gotten well beyond what the founders ever imagined.

TUESDAY DEC. 19TH at SG City Hall 425 S. Mission, we are having a rally before the council meeting at 7pm. We are presenting the petitions to the council and making a statement. Please try to be there in full force. Bring as many people as you can and bring the kids!!!!! It will not take long we should be out of there by 8pm.

FOLL Needs: Volunteers for

1) Any Grant writers out there? We were informed by the city that we need to start raising funds for La Laguna…NOW!!!
2) Fundraising committee is needed. IDEAS..organizers, party people etc.
3) We need to get non-profit status, anyone know how to do that?
4) Planners, we would like to get visions of how we would like the park integrated in the renovation plan. We don’t want that totally left up to the city.
5) HELP!!!

5) We have our legal team
6) We will bring out our own experts to evaluate the structures.

We want to again thank all of you for your interest and support. This is all for Benjamin Dominguez and those wonderful gifts he imagined for us. I know this is a busy time of year, but the work is just beginning. We will be planning a general FOLL meeting after the holidays. But for now….lets get out and show our support Tuesday at 7pm.

Thank you,

Eloy, Senya, John, and Eric

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Postby Spike » Thu Dec 21, 2006 9:31 am

Pasadena Star-News 12/21/06:

Group rallies for playground
Residents want Lugo Park structures to stay
By Patricia Jiayi Ho Staff Writer


SAN GABRIEL - A crowd of about 30 people gathered in front of City Hall on Tuesday night to rally in support of Monster Park, a whimsical playground in Vincent Lugo Park.

Consisting of colorful concrete sea creatures, the play area was opened in 1965. Supporters fear it will get lost amid a renovation plan for Vincent Lugo Park and concerns for today's safety codes.

A mix of parents, students, preservationists and artists presented their case to the City Council, highlighting aesthetic and cultural merits of the sandy playground, also known as Laguna de San Gabriel or Dinosaur Park.

The goal isn't just to save a couple pieces or to find a new home for them, but to convince the city to keep the playground as it is, said Eloy Zarate, who is spearheading the effort.

"These are not individual sculptures but a historical and cultural landscape," said Zarate, a San Gabriel resident and Pasadena City College history and Chicano studies professor.

Zarate said his group, Friends of La Laguna, want a seat at the table as the city takes another look at the park's renovation.

Original renovation plans for Vincent Lugo call for a baseball and soccer field where the playful dolphins, giant starfish and winding dragon slide sit.

City officials emphasized Tuesday that the fate of the sea creatures has not been decided.

"This council is committed to addressing this issue in a positive manner," Mayor David Gutierrez told the packed room. "Hopefully we can come up with a solution that is going to be a win-win for everyone."

While items in a playground are not traditionally seen as art, supporters argue that the Laguna is the unique manifestation of an artist's vision and inspiration.

It was designed and built by Benjamin Dominguez, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico in his retirement years. He eventually settled in La Puente.

"He was very passionate about kids and found children to be very special people," said Anna Dominguez, the youngest of the sculptor's 13 children.

Built in the 1960s, the playground speaks to a community's quest for expression and individuality, Zarate said. Dominguez's personal story of immigration and adopting a new homeland reflects the city's diverse population, he added.

Friends of La Laguna have collected more than 1,000 signatures from residents and about 1,100 have signed its online petition.

Santa Monica filmmaker Gideon Brower, lauded the Laguna's unique visual appeal.

"It has a lot of atmosphere," said Brower, who filmed a scene in his comedy short, "Fish Burglar," inside the Laguna whale's mouth. "It's a place with a story. As soon as you see it, you want to know more."

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Postby Velas » Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:47 am

There's a great book how-to guide about how to get non-profit status
from Nolo Books:

"How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in California"

http://www.nolo.com/product.cfm/ObjectI ... 4/111/262/

Here are some resources from the Center For Nonprofit Management
on considering starting a nonprofit:

http://www.cnmsocal.org/StartingANonprofit.html
ww.panoramaonview.org

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Postby Spike » Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:33 pm


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Postby Velas » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:39 pm

A little grant writting info to get you started.....
from California Lawyers for the Arts

+++++++++++++++++

California Lawyers for the Arts is please to present... WEDNESDAY
EVENING WORKSHOP CALENDAR 01/07 - 03/07

JANUARY 24: HOW TO WRITE A GRANT PROPOSAL: TAKING IT FOR GRANTED

This important workshop will cover the basic elements of grant proposal
writing: Who to ask, How to ask, What to ask for. Plus, participants
will recieve important tips for success, including what not to do before
and after you write the grant. Speaker: Susan Braig

WORKSHOP LOCATION:

KEN EDWARDS CENTER,

1527 FOURTH STREET SANTA MONICA, CA 90401

Informal workshops to answer basic questions will be held on Wednesday
evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Workshops are led by expert
attorneys and other knowledgeable professionals.

General Admission is $20

($10 for C.L.A. members & for residents of Santa Monica,

$5 for Seniors and Students with vaild ID).

TO REGISTER: Call us at (310) 998-5590 or email us: UserCLA@aol. com
<mailto:UserCLA@aol. com>

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! [:)]

California Lawyers for the Arts is a non-profit service organization
providing legal services and information for the arts community since
1974.
+++++++++++++++++++
ww.panoramaonview.org

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Postby Spike » Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:55 pm

Good news -- though I'm told that now the fundraising begins...
http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_5190655

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Postby nichols » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:02 am

NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
PRESERVATION ONLINE

Fairy-Tale Ending
A California Playground Gets a Second Chance.

Story by Brenda Rees / Mar. 30, 2007

Image
Saved: La Laguna de San Gabriel Park (Friends of La Laguna)

For almost 50 years, a pirate ship, sea monsters, and an assortment of aquatic critters have entertained children in a remote corner of Vincent Lugo Park, located in the city of San Gabriel, outside Los Angeles.

Kids have dubbed the place "Monster Park" and "Dinosaur Park" because here they can slide down a giant concrete dragon, climb over an eight-foot-tall octopus, and cavort with cement dolphins in the sand...

http://www.nationaltrust.org/magazine/story/index.htm

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Postby TwinJim » Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:08 pm

I was down there this weekend. It's had a paint make over since the last posted photos. Most all of the concrete figures have been repainted, the whale a glossy bubble gum pink. What eye candy in the sun! That section of Vincent Lugo Park was being well used and appreciated. A soccer game was in progess in an undesignated area of the park and the baseball field was idle and empty. Not that the diamond is abandoned or anything, but the shifting favor of soccer over baseball is upon such recreational areas. Due to the need for larger areas soccer requires, more choices between playground space v. soccer fields will be decided at older existing parks.

And I thought the city wanted to yank the monsters out of there to avoid some future equally monsterous legal action after a bad spill off the gaint snail, whale..........

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Postby nichols » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:08 pm

A Friends of La Laguna update for 2008

Happy New Year to you all! FoLL wanted to send along an update to let you know where we stand with our park. It has been almost a year since we entered into a MOU with the city to work toward the preservation and rehabilitation of the park. Since “savingâ€￾ the park, we have focused our attention on fundraising. The Annenberg Foundation provided critical support and funding to start assessments as well as the historical nomination for the park. We used their grant in our application to the Third Round of matching fund grants from the California Cultural and Historic Endowment (CCHE). So, we start the year with the much needed park assessments fully funded. That is worthy of a celebration!!

Our goal is to start the work of the assessments in February/March. The assessments will provide the blueprints, design, and documentation to rehabilitate and preserve the park. Hopefully, the end of 2008 will be the start of our fundraising and grant applications to complete the rehabilitation of the Laguna.

In addition, we were awarded an AT&T Excelerator Grant that we plan to use to update our website. So, you’ll have to check in and see how our look changes!

We thank you all for your continued support and interest.


FoLL

P.S. We still have shirts for sale!! Just email us and we can get them out to you!!


Friends of La Laguna
http://friendsoflalaguna.com

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nichols
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Postby nichols » Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:51 am

...and now an example of a different kind of playground sculpture:
Imagehttp://www.darkroastedblend.com/2008/02/nightmare-playgrounds.html

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Postby nichols » Thu May 22, 2008 11:56 am

La Laguna gets a big plug in the National Trust annual report. Check out those cute kids and concrete octopus banner!

http://www.preservationnation.org/about ... report.pdf

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Postby Gnomus » Fri May 23, 2008 8:30 pm

Some photos from my October, 2007 visit.

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