History mosaics at Chase Bank in Pacific Beach.

Eight extraordinary mosaics decorate two sides of the Chase Bank at Mission Bay Drive and Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach. Six of the mosaics depict figures representing San Diego history; the other two show delightful scenes unique to our city.

This beautiful public artwork was the creation of Millard Owen Sheets, who in the mid-20th century designed Home Savings Bank branch buildings around Southern California. Sheets Studio in Claremont, California employed a team of artists that produced numerous amazing mosaics for the buildings, one of which Chase Bank now occupies. You can see another very fine example in Coronado, which I blogged about here.

These eight mosaics set in travertine were created in 1977. Like the mosaics that were created for other bank branches, they celebrate the local community’s unique heritage.

These mosaics–at least one–appear specifically to be the work of Sheets Studio artist Susan Hertel. The initial S.H. can be seen in the corner of the mosaic titled Children’s Zoo.

Mosaic depicting a Native American.
Mosaic depicting a Spanish explorer.
Mosaic depicting a Californio.
Mosaic depicting a frontiersman or 49er.
Mosaic depicting a tuna fisherman.
Mosaic depicting a construction worker or shipbuilder.
Mosaic titled The Harbor.
Mosaic titled Children’s Zoo.

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Colorful murals at National City Market!

After taking photos outside the Stein Family Farm in National City (you can see those in my previous post), I walked several blocks west down 18th Street and found these colorful murals painted on two walls of the National City Market!

I believe this artwork is relatively new. Various fun images celebrate the life and history of this South Bay community. I see a lowrider, kids enjoying sweet treats from a paleta cart, and a tribute to the Mile of Cars.

I also see a historic home that resembles the Steele-Blossom House (which appears in the National City logo, and which you can see photographs of here) and graffiti that spells out Teach the Youth…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Barrio Logan mural celebrates education.

I saw this old mural on a Barrio Logan building during a recent walk along Main Street. I don’t know anything definite about it.

After a little internet searching, I believe the mural was painted when this building across Main Street from the 32nd Street Naval Station was occupied by the Barrio Logan Winery. I also believe it might have been created with help from the Urban Corps. That’s my best guess.

What I do know is that education is celebrated, and the positive images aim to inspire youth to stay in school to pursue a brighter future!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Shelltown public art celebrates community.

In Shelltown, a community southeast of downtown San Diego and north of National City, you’ll find fantastic public art at Southcrest Trails Park.

As one walks through the neighborhood park, one comes upon a large mosaic-like disk that contains many expressive faces. The public art, made of concrete pavers and bronze set in a small plaza, is titled A Place to Call Home. It was created in 2018 by San Diego artists Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendón-Ober.

The faces represent residents of the community speaking four names associated with the site: Chollas Creek, Shelltown, Southcrest and Home. As one circles the plaza, many mouths appear to speak.

The plaque at the center includes the words: Home is a place that helps us define who we are, and although we may leave that place, it never leaves us.

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Frida Kahlo and colored patterns on a fence!

Check out this cool, unexpected art I discovered during a walk last weekend!

I was heading down Main Street in Barrio Logan when I looked up 30th Street and glimpsed this artwork on a fence!

Colorful plastic squares had been applied to a chain link fence along Boston Avenue near Interstate 5. This artwork continues for several blocks! In addition to dozens of varied diamond patterns, I spied the above “portrait” of Frida Kahlo!

I’m not sure when this art was created or by whom. It appeared to me as if it had been on that fence for years.

If I hadn’t casually glanced up an ordinary street that I was walking past, I would never have seen this.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Sliding through an enormous bunch of grapes!

I’ve seen people stomping on grapes. Now I’ve observed people happily sliding through them!

That’s because a while back I found myself near the Grape Day Park playground in Escondido. As I walked around taking photographs, I saw a couple of kids descending the Vinehenge slide!

Vinehenge was created by artists Valerie Salatino and Nancy Moran in 2004. It’s a very fun part of the City of Escondido’s public art collection!

According to a nearby information sign, city leaders launched the Grape Day Festival back in 1906. “Thousands of visitors, brought in by the Santa Fe Railroad, enjoyed free grapes, danced, socialized, and engaged in other festivities on these grounds.” Today a very wonderful Grape Day Park features the Escondido History Center Museum Complex, which I blogged about over a year ago here.

Check out these fun pics of Vinehenge and its unique grape slide!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Greek community’s olive tree in Balboa Park.

Visitors to Balboa Park walking between the Desert Garden and Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden might notice a single olive tree. It grows a short distance from the winding pathway, near some logs at the edge of Florida Canyon where people can sit while listening to ranger talks.

What they probably won’t observe is a plaque describing the tree. The plaque, which is not easily seen from the busy walkway, explains the olive tree was donated to the City of San Diego by the local Greek community in November 1976.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Holidays and Chula Vista shop windows.

As I walked through Chula Vista’s historic downtown yesterday, I peered into shop windows up and down Third Avenue.

Looking back out at me were colorful signs of the holiday season!

I saw Christmas trees, wreaths, beautiful ornaments and works of art, Hanukkah decorations, Nativity scenes, and multiple Santa Clauses!

On a late Saturday morning not too many people were about yet, but as I walked along I noticed eateries were beginning to set up on the sidewalk for the lunch hour. It appears to me the Third Avenue Village would be an ideal place to do your small business Christmas shopping!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Love in San Ysidro for those lost.

AMOR spelled out on a fence in San Ysidro. A project for Día de los Muertos in 2020 to remember lost loved ones during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Today I enjoy a long walk in South Bay.

As I wandered through San Ysidro, I passed the parklike space where the neighborhood celebrates Día de San Ysidro/San Ysidro Day each year. I found the Spanish word AMOR, which in English means love, spelled out on a fence.

As you can see, AMOR was made from numerous small circular tags. They represent the many who’ve passed away this year from COVID-19. It was a project earlier this year of Casa Familiar, a South Bay community development organization.

Unfortunately, the virus is still taking a very big toll in mid-December, as the world waits to be vaccinated in the months ahead.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Mosaic artwork at Barrio Logan Fire Station!

Take a look at one of the most unique, fun and inspired pieces of public artwork in San Diego!

You can find it at Barrio Logan Fire Station #7 facing Cesar E. Chavez Parkway.

Students attending nearby Perkins Elementary School created this awesome tile mosaic artwork. A sculptural fire hose decorated with firefighting imagery spurts water on burning flames!

This was a project of Rebuilding Together San Diego back in 2005. See their website here.

The organization’s mission is: “Bringing our volunteers and the community together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners who are in need, and help revitalize neighborhoods throughout San Diego.”

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!