Photo: San Diego's Chicano Park
With more than 40 years of history behind it and famous for its murals, San Diego’s Chicano Park is seeking a spot in the National Registry of Historic Places.
After a tough struggle by activists, the nomination of Chicano Park and its murals was approved last week by California’s State Historical Resources Commission and in 45 days a decision in the matter will be made public.
Activist Josephine Talamantez, a member of a family who has lived in the surrounding community of Barrio Logan since 1908, was the person in charge of gathering the information needed to ensure that the emblematic site would be considered.
For that task, Talamantez and the members of the Chicano Park Steering Committee presented a document dozens of pages long in which they emphasize both the history of the site as well as the significance of its more than 70 murals.
For Barrio Logan it’s important to get this recognition because then they would be able to obtain protection for the park from any modification.
This protection would bring calm to a community that has fought for decades to keep the site alive and offer to Latinos a spot in San Diego County where they can remember their roots, Tommie Camarillo, the chair of the committee, told Efe.
Chicano Park was founded in 1970 after a protest against the construction of a California Highway Patrol station at the site.
After negotiations with members of the municipality a decision was reached to preserve the park, which has become a reference point for San Diego’s Latino community.
“It’s a spot where we can feel that we belong, each mural describes a part of our history,” said Camarillo.
Over the years, Chicano Park has become a place for important events to celebrate Hispanic heritage, as well as a starting point for demonstrations.
Also, birthday parties and weddings have been celebrated there.
San Diego resident Gus Chavez recalled his daughter’s wedding there 15 years ago.
“Even now, I meet friends who tell me that they haven’t forgotten the day of my daughter’s wedding,” he told Efe.
The National Registry of Historical Places is a list of more than 80,000 sites.