Commemoration of the park and its history.
The design of this project, and in particular the revitalized 1.7-acre park, will recognize the many historic chapters that, together, comprise the legacy of this site through a commemoration program.
Through our multiyear public engagement process for this project, we've talked with hundreds of people and listened to their ideas on how to most appropriately commemorate the storied history of the site, from land originally inhabited by native peoples thousands of years ago, to turn-of-the-century residential housing development, and through the protests of the 1960s and the subsequent creation of a park, to today.
The commemoration program is in development and many ideas are being explored to share the history of the site through all three elements of the project: the landscape, supportive housing, and student housing.
Samples of ideas in consideration are a memorial walkway that mimics the path of protestors walked in May 1969, murals or commemorative designs on the exterior of the buildings, displays of historic photos, and themed student housing floors around the topics of social justice, sustainability, and caring for the natural and human habitat.
Outdoor elements that commemorate and share the history of the site will be coordinated by Walter Hood, landscape architect and MacArthur Genius Grant-winning UC Berkeley Professor, and his studio, Hood Design
Hood Design is a cultural practice committed to creating environments in which people live work, and play. The studio practice engages urban landscape where a collective density of inhabitants share physical, social, political, and economic resources. This multidimensional context is the setting for the development of powerful sculpted expressions that explore site-specific social and environmental processes.
Images: A look at the historic chapters that, together, comprise the legacy of this site.
Located in the territory of xučyun, the ancestral land of the Chochenyo speaking Ohlone people. Image: UC Berkeley Native American Student Development
Map of Berkeley in early 1900s. The site that would become the park is zoned for, and developed as, single-family homes.
Homes in Berkeley's southside neighborhood in the early 1900s. Fulton St. and Dwight Way. Image: UC Berkeley Library
Aerial photo from the late 1960s. Homes in the encircled block would soon be demolished for student housing. Adjacent blocks were redeveloped into the recently completed Units 2 and 3. Image: UCSB Library/ArcGIS
May 1969. Berkeley activists and protestors occupy the vacant housing site, which was being used for parking, to create a park. Image: The Chronicle
May 1969. Confrontations between protestors and police escalated resulting in violent and non-violent disorder. Image: The Chronicle
A fence remained around the park until 1972 when Vietnam War protesters took it down. The park was left unfenced and it devolved into the free-form space it had been before. Image: The Chronicle
Without a cohesive design or strategy for use, the site has generally degraded as multiple attempts to improve it were largely unsuccessful. Image: UC Berkeley
For decades, the campus enforced a nightly closure of the park. During the day about 20-30 people frequent the site, many unhoused who are often victims of crime. The park is largely avoided by neighbors. Image: The Chronicle
During COVID-19, conditions worsened when homeless shelters temporarily closed. We have heard the voices of those who advocate for their interests: We will proceed with construction only after having a plan in place that will offer access to shelter and services to the 40-50 people currently sleeping in the park. Image: The Daily Californian