When a wall is more than just a wall

What if we looked at our walls as conveyors of stories, hidden messages or moments in time?

details, walls, santa monica, california


Andee Mazzocco


Jacqueline Marion

The Palisades Walls at Santa Monica’s Palisades Park and South Beach were inspired by the natural cliffs abutting the oceanfront. Sedimentary layers of cobbles, with shells or fossils, can be found in the exposed and weathered sandstone cliffs. In collaboration with artist Jody Pinto, these bluffs were abstracted in concrete, first utilizing an integral color that matched tones found in the natural cliffs. Concrete was laid in lifts, intentionally irregular. Layers of cobbles, shells and sands were added between the lifts, much like creating a parfait. During construction, the contractors began to personalize the pebble courses with objects they had found on the beach (and a time capsule is hidden inside one). When the forms were removed, each wall had its own identity, no two were alike. Over the years, people have placed treasures, notes or additional shells and stones within the wall as mementos of their visit.