San Jacinto Plaza Renovation

Illumination evokes an elegant and inviting urban park for El Paso Visitors.

Once known for its live alligator enclosure, the re-imagined urban gathering space now offers amenities such as a botanical garden, outdoor reading room, produce market, children’s splash pad, café, and an area for washoes (a game similar to horseshoes but with water). The new design also integrates historic elements such as Luis Jimenez’s “Los Lagartos” statue, which pays homage to the park’s former reptilian inhabitants. A shade structure protects the monument, which serves as a central axis point for the park.

HLB’s scope included pathways, plazas, historical monuments, gardens, shade canopies, courtyards, and general lighting for water elements. Festoon lights over gathering spaces and perimeter LED tree uplights allow for a nighttime stroll with ambiance. Bollards integrate primary and secondary pathways into a cohesive lighting scheme, and strategically placed pole lights provide security, wayfinding, and aesthetically enhance the nighttime scene.

At the central shade structure, RGB LEDs provide uplighting from the fountain to the canopy, emitting a reverential glow around the statue and accenting the alligators. In addition, color-changing LED dots are integrated into select pathways for customization to events and local festivities.

Project Highlights

• Historic monument lighting
• Water feature lighting


SWA Group


Project Background

• 1.7 acres
• $6 million


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
• Outdoor Lighting Design Award of Merit

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