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Ukrainian-born stonemason Sam Kolivayko, 48, has spent the past two months building a series of stone pilasters at the junction of the City Heights and Talmadge, on the northeast corner of Fairmount and Meade avenues.

He was hired by the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District to work his magic on what will be a row of seven stone pilasters at one of the gateways to Talmadge.

After decades of neglect, the unused strip of City of San Diego land will be transformed into a landscaped showcase anchored by the six-foot-tall pilasters.

Kolivayko, who began learning the masonry trade at ten years old, remarked that San Diego has an excellent and endless selection of rocks. He's scoured the far reaches of the county looking for the right colors, shapes, and sizes to best execute his designs. Beach stones prominently figure in several of the pilasters, all of them in a free-form style.

Kolivayko expects to complete his work by the end of July. He said he has attracted a great deal of attention at this busy intersection. Drivers catching sight of him at work give him a “thumbs up,” and local residents stop to compliment him for improving the neighborhood.

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Fred Williams July 23, 2011 @ 1:18 a.m.

This ought to be encouraged elsewhere in San Diego. Thanks for reporting this story.


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