In stark contrast to any discussions of demolition in 2012, the Grand Orchid is awarded to a project of restoration.
Chicano Park was founded on April 22, 1970 when the community of Barrio Logan and Chicano movement activists joined forces to protest the construction of a Highway Patrol station on the present site of the park. It is now home to the largest collection of outdoor murals in the United States.
The $1.6 million, CalTrans funded Chicano Park Mural Restoration project restored the bright and vibrant colors to 18 of the murals, painted on the columns and retaining walls of the Coronado Bay Bridge. The murals were created and copyrighted by various artists throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s, and as such, the original artists, or their designees, were again contracted to restore them. The results are stunning. As one commenter noted, “this project has gone beyond merely polishing up some paint to transforming the area.”
Designated as an official historic site by the San Diego Historical Site Board in 1980, the murals are recognized at the local, state and national levels as historical, cultural and socio-political public art. The consensus of Orchids & Onions jury was that “the fact that the murals represent a space and not a building, as the center of culture, makes an important statement, especially given its location beneath the Coronado Bridge.” These murals are a part of the unique cultural heritage of the city and provide a sense of pride for the neighborhood of Barrio Logan.
The Chicano Park Mural Restoration Project began the week of June 20, 2011. Many amazing Artists including Felipe Adame, Mario A. Charon, Ernie Galindo, Esteban Villa & Victor Ochoa have completed some murals & are continuing to restore many more. These murals are a fantastic celebration of the HIspanic culture in San Diego!