Brailsford – Pioneer Modernism Park – Lemon Grove, CA

Submitted by Brailsford Public Art


Client: City of Lemon Grove

Location: Lemon Grove, CA, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $750,000

Project Team


Robin Brailsford

Brailsford Public Art


Wick Alexander

Brailsford Public rt

Industry Resource

Ron Shaw

Shaw and Sons Construction

Landscape Architect

Mike Singleton


Industry Resource

Terry Dilgard

California Neon Products

Industry Resource

Justin Becker

Kimley-Horn Engineers


Leon Firsht

City of Lemon Grove


Anne Mudge

AM Videographer


Lemon Grove, CA, Pioneer Moderism Park, Team: Brailsford and Alexander of BPA, KTU A: Kimley-Horn lead. Three blocks long: yclic patterns in time, color, transit and water inspired. At the Victorian depot, an Aeromotor spins, LithoMosaic fruit-crates seat, and kids animate the red tractor slide. Midpoint, a Kiss and Ride plaza is dotted with LithoMosaic lemon slices and seasonal stream, and an illuminated solar tree. At the far end ,near a modern housing estate, our vertical wind turbine atop a reflective anamorphic fulcrum is circled by a futuristic LithoMosaic plaza.


Lemon Grove is home to the Big Lemon - an architect's parade float of the 1930's and now a famous, roadside attraction. It is graced with, “Lemon Grove, The Best Climate on Earth." These rural American ideals called out to be framed in a larger context for a town that is now suburban , and 21st century. Wick coined, “Pioneer Modernism, Where Farm Follows Function," and from that over encompassing conceptual goal, we were off and running with a modern, environmental, and fun agenda.
Climate, generations, the water cycle, planting seasons and wheeled transit – as well as the geometry and color wheel of citrus slices - became our pallet of forms, ideas and images. The client wanted a Main Street Promenade, a large space for community celebrations, farmer’s markets, political speeches and safe water runoff, as well as shade, seating and a heart to the community. The project had San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) grants and came to fruition with the essential input of the LG City Council, LG Historical Society, Citronica and a bevy of local citizens.


The team was led by engineers who had the job of realigning an old block to make room for public transportation and freeway access. The process was long and at times arduous, as the budget was low and the logistics daunting. As the artists we were a major force on the team, and our Pioneer Modernism theme art, cohesive concepts, and use of energy generating Windspire, solar tree and windmill at 3 large LithoMosaic plazas, define the project, as the jury for the San Diego American Society of Landscape Architects noted, upon bestowing the project with an Award of Merit in 2014.

Additional Information

Its a big hit! "Lemon Grove Live" is a music event that takes place monthly, a Farmers and Artisans Market is every Saturday, and "Lemon Grove Connect" is a project underway to extend the project several blocks south. As with all my projects here on the CodaWorx page, all the complete projects can be seen on the Facebook LithoMosaics page. Go to FB, then LithoMosaics, then Photos, then Albums, then the named Album you are looking for.