After Stormy Battles During Its Planning, Desiderio Neighborhood Park Opens Quietly with Official Ceremony

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Photography by JAMES CARBONE

5:36 am | June 28, 2019


The sound of children playing under brilliant blue, sunny skies marked the first day of Pasadena’s first new park in a decade Thursday as City officials, neighborhood parents and kids, and passing walkers and bikers marked the opening of Desiderio Neighborhood Park.

The park’s positioning almost directly under Colorado Street Bridge and in an area which has seen suicide jumpers land over the decades had drawn criticism and opposition during its tortuous planning phase. A public restroom for the park has further inflamed tensions, with many residents saying the bathrooms would attract more homeless to the Arroyo Seco. That project was put out to bid earlier this month, but construction has not yet begun.

The official opening of the $3.5 million park featured remarks by Ara Maloyan, Director of Pasadena’s Public Works Department, Mayor Terry Tornek, and Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell.

Dominick Correy, District Representative from Senator Portantino’s office, presented the Mayor a Certificate of Recognition.

Tornek and Mermell recalled the long history of the project, which started by getting the property, formerly a U.S. Army Reserve Center, from the Federal Government. The Mayor remarked how this is Pasadena’s first new park in over 10 years, according to a city official at the event.

“The event went very well,” said City Manager Mermell. “We had neighbors including those from the Habitat for Humanity project present including a fair number of children and dog walkers. It will be a great amenity for our residents.”