The City of Long Beach today commemorated the official opening of the redesigned Lincoln Park, located in the heart of downtown Long Beach on Ocean Boulevard and Pacific Avenue, with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Mayor Robert Garcia, First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas, Second District Councilwoman Cindy Allen and other City leaders. After a multi-year closure, Lincoln Park is once again open to the downtown community and visitors of Long Beach.
“I am thrilled to see this multi-year project finally be completed for our community to enjoy,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “With all of its great new features and spaces, Lincoln Park will provide residents and visitors with recreation opportunities for years to come.”
The park is the final public element of the reimagined Civic Center. After a multi-year closure, due to the construction of the state-of-the-art Billie Jean King Main Library that opened in 2019 and subsequently the construction of the park itself, Lincoln Park reopens with a variety of new amenities for active and passive recreation including discovery zones for children, fitness equipment, a universally-accessible playground for all ages and abilities, a synthetic turf sports field, skate park, dog park, half basketball court, grassy areas, and – most notably – an iconic 13-foot-tall Lincoln penny.
“I am proud to have such a special park here in the First District,” said Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “Lincoln Park speaks to Long Beach’s diversity. It is home to an all-access playground for every child of any ability to play and uses inclusive language on all park signs that is reflective of our community.”
“It is parks like this that keep our youth active, engaged, and on the right path,” said Councilwoman Cindy Allen. “This park is important for our downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, and I know that Second District residents will benefit from it.”
The $19.5 million park facility was primarily funded through a first of its kind Public Private Partnership. The development of the redesigned park was an extensive collaboration between the City’s Public Works and Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) departments, in addition to external partnerships with Clark Construction Group, Plenary Properties, SOM Architects, GGN Landscape Architect and Psomas Construction Management. Since the beginning of the project, Public Works oversaw the funding, construction and project management of the park while PRM co-led the park’s vision, design and programming, and continues leading ongoing community involvement and facilitating future partnerships. Park amenities were designed with the forethought of utilizing materials that are long-lasting, easy to maintain and consistent with those offered at other Long Beach parks.
“We are excited to officially open the new Lincoln Park as part of our downtown Civic Center,” said PRM Director Brent Dennis. “The park’s design allows for a ‘funtastic’ array of passive and active recreation. I know the park will become one of the most popular gathering places for the community and special events in the heart of the city.”
Input from residents and community members also contributed to the development of the new park. Last fall, the City sought community feedback and recommendations for the types of events, programming and activities people would like to experience. The survey, available both online and in-person, is still open for submissions.
“The Department of Public Works is proud to do its part to help revitalize and re-imagine public spaces within the downtown core and throughout the City,” said Director of Public Works Eric Lopez. “I look forward to enjoying the new suite of fun spaces at the new Lincoln Park with my own family and with our residents and visitors to downtown.”
The City will continue to engage the local community and develop future partnerships that will help augment park patrons’ experience and continue to forge a connected, inclusive, and vibrant downtown for many years to come. The PRM Park Planning and Partnership Bureau is working with the local arts and culture community, local businesses, nearby residents, sports groups, and the Long Beach Public Library to form a Friends of Lincoln Park association.
Originally designated as Pacific Park in 1888 and renamed Lincoln Park in 1915 with the installation of the iconic Abraham Lincoln statue, Lincoln Park is the oldest park in the city.