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Dinosaur Sculptures on Santa Monica Promenade to Receive $400,000 Rejuvenation


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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

December 21, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s iconic Dinosaur topiary sculptures and fountains, symbolic guardians of the Third Street Promenade for almost three decades, are showing their age.

But unlike the fate of their real prehistoric relatives, the concrete-and-ivy dinosaurs are headed for better days.

Early next year, the dinosaurs are undergoing an estimated $400,000 sprucing up, along with the medians they occupy on the popular Promenade.

Vistors pose for pictures in front of Promenade dinosaur fountail

First installed as public art in 1989 on Downtown's newly renovated Third Street, the topiaries were an immediate hit with the public.

But nearly 30 years of exposure to the elements has taken a toll, said Susan Cline, who heads with City’s public works department.

Dinosaur fountains are a popular spot to pose for pictures

“The sun, rain, wind and moisture, as well as water leakages have eroded and discolored the once attractive finish of the red-brown, pre-cast concrete components of the medians and fountains,” she said in a recent report to the City Council.

“Additionally, the existing brown and green tone makes the water in the fountain basins appear muddy,” she said.

Refurbishing the dinosaurs will involve resurfacing the exterior surfaces, re-plastering the fountain basins and installing a mosaic glass-tile band above the water line, she said.

The council hired Concept Consultant, Inc., the California-based company, earlier this month to do the work, which also includes upgrading four submersible up-lights within the fountain basins, removing 12 existing planter containers on the corner pilasters and constructing new planters along the sides of the medians and fountains, Cline said.

Construction will begin in early 2018 in an effort to avoid disruption to the Promenade’s retail businesses during this year’s holiday season, Cline said.

She said the work will take about four months to complete.

The eye-catching dinosaurs were an early installation on the three-block Promenade when it was renovated, Cline said.

In restoring them, the existing, original cast stone elements remain, but will be treated with a new surface applied with a durable finish called Lithocrete Presto.

“The design strategy is to transition from a dominant red-brown color to a more neutral gray palette in keeping with the rest of the Promenade furnishings,” Cline said in her report. “Additionally, the Lithocrete Presto finish would cover up water stains and cracks.

“The interior surface of the fountain basins would be finished in a light blue hue. A lighter color, plus additional mosaic tiles above the waterline of the fountain, would give the water a more refreshing look as well as cover up existing blemishes,” she said.

The four submersible lights embedded in the fountain basins would be replaced with newer LED lights. Existing cylindrical pedestal lights and light fixtures found at the corners and ends of the medians would be removed.

“In an effort to bring more greenery to the Promenade, an additional planter would be constructed on each side of the dinosaur topiaries by constructing a matching planter wall between each pre-cast pedestal on the outside of the railings,” the report said.

“The existing fiberglass planters placed on the pre-cast pedestals would be removed and kept for future use elsewhere.”


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