2800 Park Street, Berkeley, California 94702, United States
San Pablo Park is the oldest park located at 2800 Park Street between Russell and Ward Streets - Southwest Berkeley, Mobile Unit 3 in Berkeley and one of its largest. It is nestled between the San Pablo and Ashby neighborhood homes spanning several blocks. Many of my adult friends know about the softball and baseball leagues that have been playing for the warm months.
San Pablo Park may be Berkeley 's oldest park, but it's well maintained and still in use. The park is spacious, dog-friendly and has many attractions that appeal to children, parents and other locals in need of a place to relax or have fun.
The Frances Albrier Community Center has rooms for parties, meetings, classes and creative activities. In addition, it has a free-to-use computer lab and a game room open in the evenings, and sometimes the center has a free play time for children with toys in the mornings.
The land for San Pablo Park was bought for $35,000 in 1907, making it the oldest park in the City of Berkeley. U.C.-U. Professor Gregg laid out plans for the park in 1914, and that year he built a ball diamond and a field house. The playground was opened for public use in September 1914, one month after the appointment of the first general superintendent of City playgrounds. By 1918, the park had two ball diamonds, two tennis courts, hardball courts and a field house; it was recognized as "one of the best recreation grounds" in the Bay Area. A clubhouse was set up in 1930.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for a new recreation center were held on 7 January 1964. The building was dedicated on October 18, 1964, 50 years after the park was opened. The center reflected the community 's wishes and was designed by the architects Campbell and Wong, costing $200,000. A unique feature was the 5100-square-foot enclosed, landscaped patio and covered walkway forming the inner courtyard of the building.
On April 27, 1968, an open house was set up to dedicate new basketball courts, putting green, improving tennis courts and playgrounds, and planting 150 full-grown trees. Further improvements to the park and renovation of the recreation center were made in 1983-1984 with the support of the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery (UPARR) grant.
In January 1984, the Parks and Recreation Commission adopted a resolution to appoint the Frances Albrier Recreation Centre, and on 23 September 1985 it adopted a resolution to honor Bill Haywood; both Albrier and Haywood were long-time Berkeley activists. The Friends of San Pablo Park have been active in recent years, and helped redesign and renovate the tot lot.
The children's playground is located at the south end of Russell Park and Park Streets. It is fully enclosed with a fence; has mixed surfaces of sand, rubbery bouncy ground, cement and grass; includes two baby swings; four spring bouncers, a train and a playhouse, and a single climbing structure with a toddler slide. Benches surround the playground.
The children's play area is very popular with local nannies and daycares and is crowded in the morning. It clears out for naptime by about 1 pm. A small grassy area near the fence line provides a great spot for picnics and story-telling in the playground.
There is no real shade (unless you want to hide under the slide structure or cling to the fence at certain times of the day) and the bathrooms are far away in the brown building near the basketball hoops and not-so-nice (clean, but no doors or soap) or in the community center (perfectly nice, but a bit far away). No biggie if you're wearing hats and your child's still wearing diapers.