By Horacio Jones
December 13, 2014 was a historic day for the up and coming neighborhood of Barrio Logan. It was the official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Barrio Logan gateway sign. It is a distinctive addition to the existing signs in the Gaslamp, University Heights, Hillcrest, North Park and The Boulevard.
I was able to get insight into the creative process behind the sign and its symbolism through interviews with lead artist Armando Nuñez and architect Vicky Estrada. It was a fun-filled day for the community with Aztec dancing, Mariachi Music, original music from Cumbia Machin and local vendors selling food and art.
Located on Cesar E. Chavez Parkway between Main Street and Newton Avenue, the sign symbolizes the resurgence this community has been experiencing in recent years. Now many art galleries have opened up, there is a Barrio Logan Association, and Chicano Park has been designated as National Historic treasure.
The sign also serves as a deterrent to heavy truck traffic in this residential part of Barrio Logan. Since the sign is 42 feet tall at the center, trucks have to use a different route to access the freeway. The next time you are driving south down Interstate 5, do yourself a favor and exit Cesar Chavez Parkway to have a look for yourself at this unique and vibrant community.