La Mesa invites public to “leave their legacy” on Downtown district sign
A dream to install an archway sign in the La Mesa Downtown District is one step closer to coming true. In December 2021, the La Mesa City Council approved the sign proposal with plans to finish construction in the next year.
While this is one of many signs across San Diego County, the Jewel of the Hills will create an installation that’s never been done before. The La Mesa Village Association’s Secretary and Treasurer, Pam Rader shares the signs completion is going to depend on community involvement.
“There’s going to be 1,512 hand painted tiles on the columns and that’s how they’re going to be able to get involved,” Rader said. “They can’t be pre-stamped, they can’t be manufactured, it’s all going to be hand painted tiles.”
You don’t have to be a La Mesa resident to purchase one of the 1,000+ tiles up for sale, but all proceeds will fund the creation of the archway along with a select number of plaques that will be included on the top of the 16-foot pillars. The sign will be backlit by LED lights to conserve electricity and will match the infrastructure of the downtown district. You can reserve your tile or plaque by clicking here.
Rader explained the funding was made possible by a very special partnership with the La Mesa Parks and Recreation Foundation.
“We can’t take donations so we had to find a sponsor, so we partnered with the La Mesa Parks and Rec Foundation, which is a 501c3, and they can take donations,” Rader said. “This mission is so closely linked to what they do, so it was an ideal partnering.”
Misty Thompson explains the foundation jumped at the opportunity to help make the dream a reality.
“We just thought it was an awesome opportunity not only for the foundation because it’s a perfect fit— but for the community as well,” Thompson said. “This is just something that the community has wanted, the city has wanted for so long.”
The sign will be located at the intersection of Palm Avenue and La Mesa Blvd. A decision made because of the historical significance, and the ease and accessibility of the amenities needed to ensure no disruption to surrounding businesses or buildings.
“One of the reasons we selected Palm Avenue is it’s the historic entrance and exit to La Mesa back in the late 1800’s early 1900’s,” Rader said.
The archway will act as a gateway to the past, while also celebrating the future.
“People are so excited about putting their mark on the community and 10, 15, 20, 100 years they are going to be able to come back— well maybe not 100, but they’re going to be able to come back and say I was part of this. This is me,” Rader said.
At this time, money is not being taken for the signs, but you can pledge a contribution to make your mark on history by going to the foundation’s website.