Euclid Park, a .3-acre pocket park located on the east side of the 1500 block of Euclid Street between Colorado Avenue and Broadway, joined the City of Santa Monica’s park system officially last Sunday with a grand opening.
The park was designed with a “backyard” theme and, according to City documents, includes “shade trees, a trellis, seating, a swing set and climber for children,” a gardening area with 10 plots, an area for gardening classes, Wi-Fi access and two adjacent meeting rooms.
The meeting rooms are located in a building called Hacienda del Mar, which was renovated in 2003 by the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation as a 13-unit residence for people with disabilities. The brick Spanish Colonial Revival building was originally built in 1928 as a hospital and is the oldest surviving government building in Santa Monica. Prior to being renovated, the building was used as a Los Angeles County Health Facility, while the site of the park was formerly the parking lot for the building.
Councilmember Ken Genser welcomed the community to the park by calling it “Santa Monica’s new backyard.”
County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky noted in his remarks that the “County was a partner in this” with the City and they “came up with a win-win situation.” He then described the park as “a beautiful pocket park which is safe for the kids and will benefit the neighborhood.”
The landscape architect team of Rios, Clementi and Hale Studios designed the park and artist Abbie Baron created the public art. Baron designed three bronze sculpture birdhouses, inspired by local buildings, that are collectively titled “Liv’in Together.” She explained to the Mirror that, “The bird houses represent houses in the community and the birds represent the people in the community all liv’in together.”
Recreation and Parks Commissioner Phil Brock wants the City to “have a park and playground within a 1/4 mile” of all residents, particularly children, “so residents won’t have to get into cars” to be outside.
Vice Chair of the Recreation and Parks Commission Neil Carrey believes Euclid Park was very much needed for a very dense area of the City. He also noted that the “present City Council is [much more] user-friendly for open space and recreation facilities than any Council I’ve worked with over the many years I’ve been involved with the City.”
Construction of the park took 10 months and cost $673,000. Its development is part of the City’s 20-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan. This was the second new park facility to open in 2007. The first was Airport Park, which opened on April 29.