dragon install Chinese Monument Santa CruzTom Ralston (center), president of Tom Ralston Concrete share a celebratory moment with Watsonville artist Kathleen Crocetti (right) and her husband and engineer, Bill Lucas, Sunday during the installation of a large mosaic dragon on the San Lorenzo footbridge on Front Street in Santa Cruz. — Tarmo Hannula/The PajaronianAs a crane hoisted four sections of a large mosaic-covered water dragon into place Sunday atop a colorful concrete gateway at an entryway to San Lorenzo Park, new life was pumped into a forgotten chapter of Santa Cruz history.

Renamed the Chinatown Bridge by the Santa Cruz City Council in 2019, the dragon archway, stationed at the Front Street entrance to the popular pedestrian and bike bridge that crosses the San Lorenzo River, was created to recognize and honor the final Chinatown in Santa Cruz that once thrived in what is now San Lorenzo Park.

“I think it looks fabulous,” said George Ow Jr., a major supporter of the project who said he lived in Chinatown as a young boy with his family. “I can hardly take my eyes off it. So many thanks to artist Kathleen Crocetti and concrete artist Tom Ralston. He wrote the book on artistic concrete work. This is truly a great way to show off their talents.”

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