A “Prune King” revival in Pellier Park.

First built in 1977, Pellier Park in the heart of downtown San José underwent a redesign from the roots up. Where orchards once covered the park and its surrounds, Volume collaborated with SWA (who led the entire park redesign) to create a 115-foot-long history wall that tells the history of Louis Pellier, known as “The Prune King,” who introduced the French Prune to the Santa Clara Valley in 1856.

The design system also includes ground markers delineating Pellier’s home’s original location on park grounds and interpretive panels for the park’s historic plum trees.

The wall’s physical form echoes the “crease” in a plum’s body and the rolling hills of the surrounding valley landscape. The wall’s narrative tells the story of Pellier’s impact on the fruit canning industry, the Santa Clara Valley’s agricultural history, and the original park’s construction.

Inspired by the rich hues of the plum fruit, purple is the primary color used on the storytelling wall and surrounding signage. The stencil lettering of fruit crates inspired the basis for the headline typography.

© SWA Group – David Lloyd