A fanciful bit of public art on Shelter Island.

Pacific Portal on Shelter Island by James T. Hubbell.
Pacific Portal on Shelter Island by James T. Hubbell.

Should you ever drive to Shelter Island, you’ll probably see a large, very unusual gazebo between the central traffic circle and San Diego Bay. It’s just one part of the large collection of public art lining the narrow island.

The Pacific Portal is a sculptural gazebo made of sprayed, reinforced concrete. It was erected eight years ago, replacing an old, more traditional Rotary Club pavilion. Nearby you’ll also find a small trellis structure and an interesting sculpture made of wrought iron.

The artist, James T. Hubbell, also designed the Pearl of the Pacific, the colorful public artwork featured in Pacific Rim Park at the southern end of Shelter Island.

While Pacific Portal is officially said to be a community gathering place, it’s located off the beaten track where few people walk, and offers few places to sit and relax. It seems to be more ostentatious than functional. Which strikes me as rather unfortunate.

Fanciful gazebo by the water is made of concrete.
Fanciful gazebo by the water is made of concrete.
Mosaic adds color to the curved interior of Pacific Portal.
Mosaic adds color to the curved interior of Pacific Portal.

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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