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With Landmark Status For Chicano Park, Boosters Renew Push For Museum

Photo caption: Mural in Chicano Park.

Photo by Angela Carone

Mural in Chicano Park.

With Landmark Status For Chicano Park, Boosters Renew Push For Museum


Josephine Talamantez, member, Chicano Park Steering Committee


From an undeveloped site occupied by protestors in the 1970s to a National Historic Landmark, Chicano Park has had an extraordinary history. It was already part of the National Register of Historic Places when it was named last week to the far more exclusive landmark designation. Chicano Park advocates are hoping for one more prize for the park: a Chicano Park museum.

The Chicano Park Steering Committee has been trying for more than a year to lease a vacant city building on the edge of the park for use as a museum. Advocates claim the building was leased to the San Diego Community College District for nearly 40 years with the understanding that it would eventually be turned into a community center. The district left the building in 2015.

Steering Committee member Josephine Talamantez said she hopes the landmark status improves the chances the city avoids a public bid process that could put the building's lease out of reach.

"We’re working different members of the city council and the mayor’s office…to determine a process that will turn that building over to this nonprofit organization that is serving the community," she said.

The mayor's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Talamantez joins KPBS Midday Edition on Monday with more on Chicano Park's national importance.

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