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Parks Division
Parks Division


Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park


2151 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
between Allston Way and Center Street
Downtown/Southeast Berkeley
, Mobile Unit 2
Map of parks 

Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park, landmarked in 1997 as well as the site of many Berkeley festivals and special events, offers a large lawn for sitting and picnicking along with many special features.

MLK Civic Center Grass Area

MLK Civic Center Benches MLK Civic Center Fountain MLK Civic Center Lawn MLK Civic Center Path

History

In May 1940, Berkeley voters passed a $125,000 bond measure to acquire property to develop a Civic Center Plaza. The design included contributions from many of Berkeley’s most noted architects and landscape architects, and labor was furnished by the federal Works Projects Administration (WPA). The electrically illuminated fountain set in a flagstone terrace was a gift to the City of Berkeley from the City of San Francisco after the Golden Gate Exposition closed. The City’s first playground, located behind City Hall west of the Civic Center, was moved to Civic Center Park in the 1930s when the Hall of Justice was built. A new “Tiny Tots” playground was opened to the public on May 18, 1948.

The park was designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park in 1983 in honor of the slain civil rights giant. (The park had also been known as Provo Park during the years of the anti-Vietnam War movement, after the progressive political group of that name which was started in Amsterdam.) An Urban Park and Recreation Recovery (UPARR) rehabilitation grant provided approximately $74,000 in 1983–1984 to renovate the tot area, lawn, shrubs, benches, and pathways. The park is scheduled for a complete renovation in coming years using funds from Measure S, a bond measure passed in the mid-1990s for downtown improvements. 

Features

  • Entire park is landmarked and part of a Historic District
  • Historic fountain 
  • Peace Wall inlaid with tiles made by hundreds of community members
  • Multi-purpose turf used for special events and daily lunching by Berkeley High students and others
  • Staging area for large gatherings
  • Site of large community events, including Earth Day, Cinco de Mayo, and How Berkeley Can You Be? festivals
  • Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning on Center Street north of the park
  • The park is available for rental for special events and festivals. For reservations and further information, please call the City Recreation Office at 510-981-5150. 


Restroom: Portable units; public restroom in southwest annex of Civic Center building open during park festivities and daytime park hours 

Parking: On-street parking 

Acreage: 2.77 acres | 120,700 sq. ft. 

Accessibility: Pathways are wheelchair accessible; upper terrace plaza and fountain terrace are not easily accessible.handicap

Park Hours: 6 AM to 10 PM (unless otherwise indicated)

Park Maintenance: For questions please visit Parks Maintenance.

 

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Parks Division, 1326 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94702
Questions or comments? Email: trees@cityofberkeley.info Phone: (510) 981-6660
(510) 981-CITY/2489 or 311 from any landline in Berkeley
TTY: (510) 981-6903
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