Wednesday, October 27, 2010

hard monsters

Monster Park in San Gabriel, California
One of the peculiar places filled with concrete critters in Southern California that we have returned to visit nearly as often as the Cabazon Dinosaurs is Monster Park in San Gabriel. The place's official name is Vincent Lugo Park but that shouldn't stop you calling it what you like after seeing the menagerie.
There's a big octopus, an undulating sea monster, a pink whale, a huge (sea?) snail, a sinking ship, and more. The snail and the whale have steel slides built in but the others are concrete painted with what is intended to be a slick surface. The dragon slide, for instance, has a slope that wiggles from side to side. Super cool, but the slickness is a little lacking and one must work a bit to get down the slide. That's all well and good as all the rough surfaces make these play structures a bit lacking in the eyes of safety watchdogs and a fast ride down the serpent's back could make for some ugly rash.
I suppose that lack of safety features is part of why this nifty little artwork was threatened with demolition until fairly recently. Fortunately a group of San Gabriel residents fought hard to save the work of Benjamin Dominguez, the man who's vision and hands built the monsters in the 1960s. Volunteers have been working to keep the monsters brightly painted and to clean up the occasional graffiti.
mrs. a-go-go did a little color selection on this one. The rocks and lighthouse actually have more color detail than what is shown.

The park is close to the San Gabriel Mission if you are looking for a tidbit of history, or just packing a picnic and having lunch with the critters makes a nice afternoon. Bring some well worn pants if you wish to ride the serpents, and get ready to scoot!


  1. Have you ever thought of doing "Tours with the a-go-go's?" You find the most interesting places.

  2. how did i miss this??
    awesome, truly.



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