Early in this blog’s life I posted about the La Laguna playground in San Gabriel California, with its marvelous concrete structures by Benjamin Dominguez, and the Edgar Miller statues have reminded me to check in on its status.
Happily, the Friends of La Laguna (FoLL) were successful in having the park named to the California Register of Historic Places, and generated an award-winning historic structures report and conservation plan. Major players like the Cultural Landscape Foundation and the National Trust for Historic Preservation are now involved, and their evaluations are required reading for anyone with an interest in preserving their own historic playspace.
The FoLL are forging a new awareness of playgrounds as historic designed landscapes worthy of protected status, and in response California Assembly Member Mike Eng is currently introducing legislation that will indicate that demolition is not the sole fate for playgrounds created prior to the advent of modern safety standards.
It is often said in the US that as California goes, so goes the country, and in this case may it be so!
[photos via the National Trust for Historic Preservation; credit for the vintage photo is to Ron Brown. The blog playgroundology has a nice summary of the La Laguna preservation effort, including an interview with FoLL founders]