The Pasadena City Council is expected to decide Monday on a name for a new public park that’s currently under construction at 701 East Union Street between El Molino Ave. and Oak Knoll Ave.
The project, years long in the making, is referred currently to as Playhouse District Park and Parking Lot. It consists of a 1.04-acre park including a children’s play area, a dog run, a trellised structure over a sitting and stage area, lighted pathways, a restroom and storage building, and a 48-space parking lot.
Construction is expected to be completed by this summer, the Department of Public Works said.
To come up with the named, the city’s Public Works engineering staff initiated a public outreach process to solicit input, as required by procedures in the City’s Public Park and Recreational Facility Naming Policy.
An online public survey was posted on the City’s website on July 26, 2021 asking residents to propose names for the new park, and after two rounds, the responses pointed to two most prominent names: Rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who with his brother Alex formed a band in Pasadena in 1972 called Van Halen, and African-American science fiction author Octavia E. Butler, multiple recipient of the Hugo and Nebula literature awards.
Eddie Van Halen Park received over 3,400 favorable responses in the survey, Octavia E. Butler Park got 526 favorable responses, and Playhouse Village Park and similar variations, including Playhouse Park, got 135, according to a tally reported jointly by the Planning and Community Development Department and the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department.
The City’s Recreation and Parks Commission received details of the outreach process and the public input received last December. Following discussions, the Commission said it was recommending the park be named Octavia Butler Park, and that the park’s trellis structure be named the Eddie Van Halen.
The Van Halen family, upon consultation by City staff, requested that the stage area be named for the entire Van Halen band instead of exclusively for Eddie Van Halen. As a result, the Commission, on February 8, amended its recommendation to name the stage the Van Halen Stage.
Once the City Council gives its approval, the Public Works Department will have the contractor fabricate and install the appropriate park signs.