CA Ave CA Native

Palo Alto, CA | 1997


A permanent installation for the  City of Palo Alto,  recreates a native grassland meadow in the entry median to a popular neighborhood shopping street.  It is a reminder of how the land looked prior to the founding of Palo Alto.

The main grass Muhlenbergia Rigens was used by local indigenous tribes to make baskets.  All the grasses and flowers are native to the region.

Existing banner poles were reused rather than removed. Frequent collaborator Andree Singer Thompson hand painted a set of new banners designed by Steinman to depict CA. native flora and fauna, with both common and Latin names.

A nearby small seating area, close to the median crosswalk, was updated with Sierra granite stones that double as benches.  New brick sidewalk patterns are interlaid with 100 special bricks engraved with poetic text written by winners in a  public contest (attracting 500+ entries) on, “What makes California California?”

Sponsored by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission & CAADA- California Avenue Area Development Association.