Rejecting such inspirational names as New Bum Park, Planetarium of Eden, or even Pacific Park, Santa Monica has decided to call its fancy new green space at Ocean Avenue and Olympic Boulevard Tongva Park. Temporarily dubbed Palisades Garden Walk, the park's new name will honor the Tongva people--the indigenous people of the Los Angeles area. The city council was unable to come to a consensus on the name several months ago, but the final vote was surprisingly lopsided; only one councilmember voted against it. Santa Monica Patch reports that holdout Bob Holbrook preferred a more "simple" name before lamenting that "all the great park names have already been used." In the new name's favor, one councilmember hopes it "will be a spectacular learning opportunity," a sentiment echoed by residents who spoke in support of Tongva Park. One woman hoped teachers could tell their students, "this is where the original people of this land stood."
The park will be the second nod to the Tongva along Ocean Avenue--Moomat Ahiko, a small street that runs into Ocean near the pier, is Tongva for "breath of the ocean." That's not the only Tongva street name in LA; Cahuenga, Topanga, and Tujunga, among others, all have Tongvan roots.
Tongva Park was designed by James Corner Field Operations, the team behind New York's wildly successful High Line. The six-acre space, with its gigantic Ocean Avenue overlooks, should be opening soon.
· Council Reaches Consensus on Park Name [SM Patch]
· Here are 8 Terrible Possible Names for SaMo's New Civic Park [Curbed LA]