Fannie Mae Dees Park is often referred to as “Dragon Park,” thanks to Pedro Silva’s 20-year-old sea serpent, which features hundreds of personal designs–including faces, birds, alien creatures, flowers and animals–all made of cut or chipped tiles painted by local artists. Over several months in 1999, neighborhood volunteers gave the beloved reptile much-needed repairs and polish, making him as handsome–and climbable–as ever.
The dragon part of the playground was built in the late 70s, with art made from tiles by children from the nearby schools. The end of the tail is in the foreground and the head is in the top left. During the day, this area will be covered by children and at night will have couples on a date. I have heard that if the moon is right and you stand at the right spot, it will look like the dragon is breathing fire.
In the tiles on the dragon, look for artists’ renditions of local civic leader Fannie Mae Dees, for whom the park is named, Dolly Parton and others.