Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Nick Fagnano Lime Tree Relocates to Hancock Park

Fagnano’s Mexican Lime Tree was relocated from the Ace Hotel rooftop bar to a backyard in Hancock Park. (photos from Mary Fagnano)

[Thanks to Lauren Wallender for sharing this story with the Buzz.]

When the Ace Hotel opened its rooftop bar in 2014, Nick Fagnano was among the opening group of employees. Following Nick’s tragic passing in July 2014, the Ace Hotel planted a Mexican lime tree on their rooftop in honor of Nick. This tree flourished and its limes were used for cocktails at the bar.

When the Ace Hotel announced its closing, the hotel manager kindly offered Nick’s lime tree to Nick’s parents, Mary and Jay Fagnano. The theme that Ace is using as they close this LA location is: “The Love Lasts.” They have this message on the billboard next to the hotel…and nothing could depict this theme more than the gift of this tree.

Mary Fagnano shared this screenshot of Nick’s post on social media on his last night working at Ace. He quit because he was about to start school at USC, explained Mary. Nick (left) died on July 27, 2014.

Last month, Mary, Jay, and two of Nick’s former coworkers, Kyle Shea and Chantelle Gibbs, had a reunion at the Ace Hotel’s rooftop bar where they met Ryan Jones who was hired by Ace to manage the last few weeks of the bar being open. Ryan, a production manager, lives in the Larchmont community and managed the Ace Hotel New Orleans for eight years.

(l-r) Kyle Shea, Mary and Jay Fagnano, and Chantelle Gibbs celebrate with the tree.

Ryan shared with Mary and Jay how many people were visiting the bar for a nostalgic final evening on the roof—but the most meaningful evening of all was meeting Mary and Jay and letting them know the tree and the plaque with the inscription “Planted in Loving Memory of our buddy Nick Fagnano 1993-2014” with the caption below, “Sparkles Forever,” which referred to the fact that Nick was named “Sparkles” for his ever-positive and outgoing personality to everyone with whom he worked.

Plaque at the base of the Mexican Lime Tree with the inscription “Planted in Loving Memory of our buddy Nick Fagnano 1993-2014” with the caption below, “Sparkles Forever,” Fagnano’s nickname, a reference to his ever-positive and outgoing personality.

Since Mary and Jay live just up the block from the Ace Hotel in the historic Eastern Columbia Building, they felt the tree needed a home in the community where Nick grew up. They felt the perfect place was the backyard of Hancock Park residents, Junie Lowry Johnson and Bill Johnson, who had recently moved into their new home on Plymouth with its backyard home to flourishing citrus trees. The Johnson twins, Henry and Hayden, had grown up with Nick since kindergarten and the Johnson’s home is just a few blocks away from Nick’s first home as a baby.

Below are photos of the tree’s journey to Hancock Park.

You can learn more about Thrive in Joy The Nick Fagnano Foundation established by the Fagnanos to continue their son’s legacy of positivity and strength of character.

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