Class of 2003 Project:
Park Renaming & “Facts on Plaques”
To demonstrate the Best of Manhattan Beach by celebrating the best of our past while encouraging the best for our future.
Facts on Plaques
“Facts on Plaques” is a series of plaques reflecting fun facts about accomplishments, inventions or other aspects unique to Manhattan Beach. The plaques are designed to withstand the elements and will be placed at locations appropriate to commemorate the noteworthy event, invention or fact about Manhattan Beach. The Leadership Class curriculum has brought to light so many fun and novel facts about Manhattan Beach’s rich history, that we believe the plaques will enlighten residents and visitors and instill pride in the city. We received strong and positive feedback for this project from the community including Bonnie Beckerson of the Manhattan Beach Historical Society and noted local historian and author Jan Dennis. The Manhattan Beach City Council approved the installation of nine of these plaques throughout the city.
- In the late 1920’s, the Kuhn Brothers Construction Company supplied Waikiki Beach with sand from Manhattan Beach, a process that continued for 10 years.
- Location: On The Strand at 33rd Street – (Please note: Installation of this plaque is delayed until refurbishing of The Strand is completed.)
- Manhattan Beach beach volleyball, which began at the pier in 1960, is often referred to as the “Wimbledon” of beach volleyball.
- Location: On The Strand at Manhattan Beach Boulevard – (Please note: Installation of this plaque is delayed until refurbishing of The Strand is completed.)
- In 1888, the Santa Fe Railroad laid track from Los Angeles to Redondo Beach along what is now known as Veteran’s Parkway. This railroad carried both freight and passengers to the Beach Cities for almost 100 years.
- Location: On Veteran’s Parkway across from 2803 Valley Drive under the large pine tree. Click images to enlarge.
- The Cub Scouts of America’s Pinewood Derby originated and was first held in Manhattan Beach in 1953.
- Location: In front of the Scout House behind Joslyn Center. Click images to enlarge.
- In 1953, Manhattan Beach twins, Billy and Bobby Meistrell, experimented with rubber refrigerator insulation in order to make a suit that would keep them warm while they were surfing. This invention became known as the “wetsuit”.
- Location: On The Strand between 1st and 2nd Street – (Please note: Installation of this plaque is delayed until refurbishing of The Strand is completed.)
- The Manhattan Beach Old Hometown Fair 10K started in 1978, is the longest running, non-sponsored community road race.
- Location: On Veteran’s Parkway at 4th Street (the official starting line of the race). Click images to enlarge.
- The Manhattan Beach pier is the oldest concrete pier on the West Coast. It was originally constructed out of railroad track in 1901, and was known as “Old Iron Pier”.
- Location: On the Pier near the Lifeguard Station. Click images to enlarge.
- The Manhattan Beach Badminton Club was incorporated in 1936. It has become a worldwide stop for international badminton competition.
- Location: On Veteran’s Parkway at 18th Street (near the crosswalk at 18th Street and Ardmore). Click images to enlarge.
- The Pacific Electric Railway “Red Cars” ran from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach along The Strand from 1903-1940 with stops at Rosecrans, Marine and Center Streets (Manhattan Beach Boulevard).
- Location: On The Strand at Marine Street – (Please note: Installation of this plaque is delayed until refurbishing of The Strand is completed.)
Rename Culiacan Park
Our second project involved a community-wide contest to rename Parque Culiacan, which is located between 26th and 27th Streets, west of Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach. The idea for this contest originated because the park currently bears the name of a former Manhattan Beach sister city (Culiacan, Mexico) which was thought to be of diminished relevance to our community. Our class conducted a community-wide park- naming contest with the intent to produce a short list of community-supplied names from which City Council might choose a more relevant name for the park. Impassioned pleas from members of the community and City Council’s careful consideration of the names submitted ultimately resulted in City Council’s decision to retain the existing name, Parque Culiacan.
Named in honor of Culiacan, Mexico Our first Sister City 1974
Formerly the site of Bruce’s Beach, a resort for African American Angelenos. This two-block neighborhood also housed several minority families and was condemned through eminent domain proceedings commenced in 1924. Those tragic circumstances reflected the views of a different time.
The land was referred to as City Park and Beach Front Park and later named Bayview Terrace Park through a community contest in 1962.
Designated Parque Culiacan on March 16, 1974, at the time of a visit from representatives of our first Sister City.
Parque Culiacan commemorates our community’s understanding that friendship, goodwill, and respect for all begins within our own boundaries and extends to the world community.
Signed and donated by Leadership Manhattan Beach Class of 2003
Mira Costa High School Juniors:
Lizzie Curtis, James Donahue, Nancy Funkhouser, C. Andrew Hughes, Tera Linsley, Megan Rollins, and Jenna Sebourn
Kathryn Balale, Trish Benson, Craig Cadwallader, Portia Cohen, Mark Davis, Gwen Eng, Craig Ford, Richard Frank, Diaa Guirguis, Jeff Lewis, Gerry Morton III, Frank Oliver, Mari Lynn Peters, Linda Reeves, Linda Reinstein, Muriel Savikas, Jim Schlager, Roberta Schreiner, Sara Sellars, Sandra Seville-Jones, Aileen Sweeney, Thomas Thomas, and William Wright
American Airlines, Capistrano Unified School District, Century Studio Corporation, Chevron, City of Manhattan Beach, CNP Technologies, Counseling & Mediation Institute, Craig Ford Youth Mentoring, Environment Now, Financial Security Group, First Coastal Bank N.A., Highland Asset Management, Intelity
The Best of Manhattan Beach?
Class Members: LLC, L.A. County District Attorney, Manhattan Beach Unified School District, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP, Primal ImageTM, Self-Employed TV & Film Director, Star Education, The Beach Reporter, TRW, William Wright Productions