100 Years of San Marino

Our neighboring city of San Marino celebrated its 100th anniversary last week. Famed for its beautifully maintained wide streets and sprawling historic estates, the city is also the home of the renowned Huntington Gardens, which are a must for garden enthusiasts visiting Los Angeles.

As a part of the festivities, the city’s Centennial Committee wanted to add to their already historic City Hall, built in the Spanish Revival style. Lenkin Design was asked to create a plaza and fountain design. We designed a limestone fountain which incorporates elements from the City Hall’s Plateresque façade, with the City Seal as the central motif. The fount was then hand-carved over a period of months by artisans in France.

Spanish architecture was also reflected in the Plaza, which was inspired by the courtyards of the Alhambra in Granada and the Alcázar of Sevilla. Tiles were hand-painted in Portugal with various emblems associated with the city, as well as the seals of San Marino’s namesake, the Repubblica di San Marino (in Italy), and San Marino’s sister city of Tamsui, Tawian. These tiles were inlaid into a basket weave pattern of bricks, echoing the design of the original firehouse doors. The bricks will be engraved over time with the names of the project’s patrons.

Punctuating the plaza are custom-designed planters and benches, carved from the same stone by the same craftsmen in France. Timeless design and materials have created a lovely space for congregation and contemplation, for the next hundred years to come.

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