I’m going to come right out and say it. I don’t get the Progress/Prosperity sign in St. Vital (St. Mary’s Road). At all. Is it some sort of cruel joke? The sign—seemingly influenced by the iconic Santa Monica pier signage——is centered over a stairway that literally leads to nowhere. Take a walk down the stairs, if you dare, and you’ll find yourself standing in weeds up your waist. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to move a few feet before the brush will become to thick to move any further.
So what’s the story here? This little strip of St. Mary’s—which feature Marigold Restaurant, Gondola Pizza and a pretty fantastic view—is pretty great. But this unfinished park…or boardwalk…or footpath…or whatever it is… is kind of embarrassing.
Update: Christian Cassidy of West End Dumplings has provided some insight. Turns out the arch is a replica of an old welcome arch that greeted people (and streetcars) into St. Vital, c. 1913. I’m shocked! I had no idea there was an historical basis at all for this thing.