Alfonso Pardiñas, also known as Alfonso Gutiérrez-Pardiñas, (24 August 1924 – 22 September 1975) was an Mexican-born American artist who created a number of mosaics in San Francisco, including a number of mosaics at BART stations. His firm was called Byzantine Mosaics. He often worked with local artists and designers to create mosaic murals and sculptures including Jean Varda, Beniamino Bufano, Louis Macouillard, Edith Magee, Helen Webber, Manuel Perdomo of Mosaicos Venecianos, and others. Pardiñas studied mosaics in Mexico, under Italian artist Luis Escodeller.


Pardiñas mosaics around the San Francisco Bay Area

  • Exterior of 550 Battery St. - collaboration with Manuel Perdomo, 550 Battery Street, San Francisco, California
  • White marble mosaic (1967) - formerly at 214 Grant Ave, San Francisco, California
  • Bank of America mosaic (1963) - collaboration with Louis Macouillard, San Mateo, California
  • Villa Roma Hotel mosaic (1960) - collaboration with Jean Varda, formerly in Fisherman's Wharf/North Beach, San Francisco, California (moved in 1982 and now in Marinship Park, Sausalito, California)
  •  El Palo Alto mosaic, formally Palo Alto Hotel, Palo Alto, California (also formerly Casa Olga, Epiphany Hotel, now it's Nobu Hotel Palo Alto)
  • Park Central Apartments mosaic entrance - collaboration with architect Mogens Mogensen, 724 Laurel Avenue, San Mateo, California
  • Holy Virgin Cathedral - 6210 Geary Blvd (between 26th and 27th Avenue), San Francisco, California
  • St Brendan's Church, mosaic dome (1960) - 29 Rockaway Ave, San Francisco, California
  • High School 1327 mosaic (1956) - 1327 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, San Anselmo, California  (formerly Sir Francis Drake High School)
  • Commodore Aviation hanger (1957) - collaboration with Edith Magee, Sausalito, California

Bank of America mosaic  (1963) San Mateo


BART mosaic murals

Pardiñas had work on multiple Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) stations mosaic murals around the San Francisco Bay Area.

"Pardiñas, both as a designer of his own work and mosaicist for designs by others, was probably the most prolific of all the first-generation BART artists, creating work in at least six stations. Much of Lake Merritt is sheathed in Byzantine Mosaics tile work. Walls throughout the station are bathed in chunky tile in rough reds, off-whites, and blacks, with immense black tile circles, red arrows in tile. Besides executing mosaics for work designed by artists Jean Varda in the Union City station and Mark Adams at MacArthur, Pardiñas designed two lovely, flowing tile murals for both El Cerrito stations and did his own tile work in Union City.

"A mad guy, very creative, absolute character, very arty, very original, very '60s." Nowhere within the BART system does Pardiñas get a credit for his artwork." [source]


Pardiñas mosaics elsewhere

  • Willts Bank of America (1959), Wilits, California
  • Morton Salt Building mosaic (1958), 110 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 
  • Palacio Nacional de la Cultura Guatemala (National Palace Guatemala), Guatemala City, Guatemala
  • Hilton Hotel, Mexico City, Mexico
  • National Autonomous University of Mexico, Arts and Sciences Building, Mexico City, Mexico