"Portals in Time" - CODAworx

"Portals in Time"

Submitted by Paul Hobson

Client: City of National City, CA

Location: City of National City, CA, United States

Completion date: 2006

Artwork budget: $210,000

Project Team


Paul Hobson

Industry Resource

Jim King

Jim King Construction


The centerpiece of the National City Boulevard Streetscape and Fountain Promenade Project, “Portals in Time” is an assembly of colorful depictions of the history and culture of National City, CA. The mixed media artworks are fixed to freestanding walls and portals that form a corridor linking the new Southwestern College campus with historic Brick Row a block away.
Medium: Glass mosaic, ceramic tile, adobe block, brick, cement castings, stucco and water.
Dimensions: 120’ x 60’ x 12’
Design Team: Project Design Consultants


The original RFQ for the project specified a public art component. I was commissioned early in the design process and collaborated with the design team to explore opportunities for an artwork. We facilitated community presentations and workshops to hear concerns and exchange ideas. As a result, the “Portals in Time” pocket park is the focal point of the streetscape project and has been the site of weddings, birthday gatherings and civic events.


Our design team’s approach began the discovery process with a search for a compelling story to tell. The surrounding environment, the history of the site and proposed uses associated with the project were studied and synthesized, then used as a reference during design development. Upon city approval of the project, I coordinated the public art component with the various contractors associated with the implementation of a project and supervised the fabrication and installation of the artwork.

Additional Information

It's very gratifying to see it being enjoyed by the community.