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The City of Long Beach will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Rosie the Riveter Park and Interpretive Center, on Monday, October 26, at 10 am at the park site at Conant Street and Clark Avenue (adjacent to Fire Station 19). The ceremony will celebrate the development of the park and interpretive center dedicated to the women who worked at the Douglas Aircraft plant during World War II. Named by the City Council in 2006, the park is near the original site of where thousands of women assembled bombers and cargo planes during the early 1940s.
"The park and interpretive center will provide the community a living memorial to a significant part of Long Beach's history," said Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, whose district includes the park. "We are excited about bringing this era to life and providing a focal point for visitors to learn about the history of our city."
Drew Satariano, President of the Parks and Recreation Commission added, “The Parks and Recreation Commission is honored to be a part of developing this gateway into Long Beach's past through this wonderful project.”
The park will be designed in two phases. The first phase includes a walking path with interpretive signs and a guided tour by cell phone that takes visitors to the 1940s when Long Beach helped with the war effort. A memorial featuring reproductions of scenes from the National World War II Memorial and a Victory Rose Garden are tucked in a grove of trees. It will provide a tranquil spot where visitors can reflect upon the sacrifice of those women and men who served in the military and civilian organizations. A compass rose, long used by aviators to navigate their way, will be featured and will be a replica of the one that was in the main lobby of the Administration Building of the Roosevelt Naval Station in Long Beach. A walk through of a life-size sculpture of two women riveters takes visitors to the interpretive center located in the Long Beach City College Foundation building behind the park. The interpretive center will feature memorabilia and displays provided by The Boeing Company, successor to McDonnell Douglas Corporation.
The second phase includes an additional walking path that is comprised of memorial pavers donated by those wishing to honor a loved one: a "Rosie," a member of the Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP) or any branch of the US military. A concrete sculpture outlines a B-17 bomber to provide an amphitheater and garden for public events. Historic benches, lighting and banners will complete the park.
The park design was led by NUVIS Landscape Architecture and Planning with input from the Rosie the Riveter Taskforce and The Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation, a non profit organization formed to support the park and interpretive center.
Funding for the first phase was made possible through a grant given to the City of Long Beach by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe specifically for the park and donations raised by The Long Beach Rosie the Riveter Foundation.
For more information about the Rosie the Riveter Groundbreaking event, please call Josh Butler, Office of Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, at 562.570.6932.
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