Thursday, April 22, 2010

May Day Monster Mash Picnic
Saturday, May 1
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
La Laguna de San Gabriel
Vincent Lugo Park, San Gabriel

The Los Angeles Conservancy, its Modern Committee, and the Friends of La Laguna invite kids of all ages to a special picnic a truly unique playground: La Laguna de San Gabriel, a sand-filled "lagoon" of whimsical sea creatures handcrafted in the mid-1960s by master concrete artist Benjamin Dominguez.

This "Monster Park" will host a May Day afternoon of games, lunch, and architecture-inspired ice cream sandwiches from the Coolhaus truck. Admission is $15 for the general public, $10 for L.A. Conservancy members, and $5 for kids twelve and under (admission includes lunch, a Coolhaus ice cream sandwich, and games). Reservations are required and available on the L.A. Conservancy site.

La Laguna is more than just an amazing place; it's a great preservation success story. The playground was threatened with demolition in 2006 as part of a park expansion plan. After successfully rallying to save the playground, the grassroots Friends of La Laguna commissioned a groundbreaking study and preservation plan for this unique architectural treasure.

The Friends won a 2009 Conservancy Preservation Award for their Historic Structures Report and Preservation Plan. They've launched a $1.2 million capital campaign to implement the plan and recently received a $250,000 grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment. The playground is now an official City of San Gabriel landmark and the only postwar playground listed in the California Register of Historical Resources.

The picnic is generously sponsored by AYSO - Region 40, Barons Media, The Coca-Cola Company, Gabriel's Automotive, Park West Landscape Maintenance, Inc., The Rivera Family, and Subway.

This event is part of the Los Angeles Conservancy and Modern Committee program, The Sixties Turn 50, celebrating the 1960s architectural heritage of Greater Los Angeles and exploring how best to preserve it. For more information, visit

Photo by Eloy Zarate.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

L.A. Heritage Day a Success!

On April 11, 2010 over 1200 people -- from as far away as Newport and Santa Barbara -- descended on to Heritage Square Museum for the L.A. Heritage Alliance's 3rd Annual LA Heritage Day. There was a line when the gates opened at 11am, and even as the event drew to a close a 4pm, people were still trying to gain entrance! All in attendance agreed that this was the best event yet for heritage organizations in LA County (and beyond!) to connect with each other and reach out to others to promote our shared heritage.

This success was due in large part to the work of the participating groups that each helped promote the event, as well as the media attention the event garnered. Pre-event coverage could be found online, in newspapers like L.A. Weekly and The L.A. Times, and even on TV on Fox11!

People rode their bikes, took the Metro, and drove to the event in numbers rarely seen at the impressive museum. And when they arrived, they were greeted by Pink's hot dogs, which sold out its regular and vegetarian dogs, and even ran out of chili and kraut!

With results like this, next year is sure to be even more successful!