The new Rose Arbor in Lacy Park has been quietly completed, allowing visitors an opportunity to enjoy such a structure for the first time since 2015, when age and dry rot made its landmark predecessor a safety hazard and caused it to be dismantled altogether.

The original arbor was built in the 1920s, according to Michael Throne, San Marino’s director of parks and public works and city engineer. The most recent iteration was built in the 1990s and refurbished in 2005.

The new wooden structure, finished June 12, was completed for a little over $628,000 and includes 158,000 pounds of structural lumber, 50,000 pounds of structural steel connectors, along with 15,000 pounds of nuts and bolts and 4,000 pounds of paint, based on Throne’s numbers. The project was completed 46 working days ahead of schedule and will be acknowledged later in the summer with a rededication ceremony.

The city’s staff had originally considered four material options, including lumber, composite, steel and aluminum. Because Lacy Park sits over an active earthquake fault, the structure was subject to building codes enacted in 2019 that substantially added to the price. The city will pay approximately $450,000 of the bill, with an anonymous community member pitching in a sizable amount of the remainder. Other funds have been contributed by the San Marino Motor Classic through San Marino Rotary Charities.

Photos by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE

“The replacement of the iconic Rose Arbor in Lacy Park is one of those once-in-a-lifetime accomplishments that I will be proud to say I helped to get accomplished,” said City Manager Marcella Marlowe.
Throne also appreciated his role in the project.

“I have designed large freeway interchanges and extensive drainage systems all over California, and to recreate the William Hertrich-designed Rose Arbor from a handful of grainy, photocopied photographs and personally design each component makes it an especially unique project for me,” Throne said.

Photos and article by Mitch Lehman / TRIBUNE