In 1897, when the city was disincorporated, a Park Committee was formed to look after the park. It had been so neglected; the trees were even dying. Popular subscription provided a fund of $51 a month for six months to hire a man to care for the park.
A question arose in 1905 as to the City's title to the park and, in March of that year, the Long Beach Land and Water Company officially donated it to the City. It is on record as being deeded to the City on March 14, 1905 and accepted on April 3, 1905.
In 1908, Andrew Carnegie gave a donation toward construction of a library in the park. The library was opened in 1909. The following year Andrew Carnegie came to Long Beach to inspect the building. The first Municipal Market Day, sponsored by the Women's Club of Long Beach, was held March 22, 1913, in the park.
In 1915, a cannon was shipped from the Benicia Arsenal for the dedication of the park to the Veterans of the Civil War, and the unveiling of the statue of Abraham Lincoln. "Pacific Park" was changed to "Lincoln Park" on July 9, 1920, by Ordinance B-876.
In 1962, the underground garage was constructed in the north half of the park, and the park reinstalled on top of the garage. Improvements included a Japanese Garden as a tribute to Yokkaichi, Japan, sister city of Long Beach, and a grouping of shuffleboard and roque courts. The Japanese Garden was dedicated on August 9, 1964.
In 1974, the Carnegie Library, by then the main library of the Long Beach Library system, was severely damaged by fire. A much larger library replaced it in 1977 as part of the Civic Center development that included the new City Hall. The new library was built with one story below grade and one story at grade level. Because it occupied most of the southern half of the park, the roof of the library was landscaped as a passive park. This attempt to build a park on the library roof was unsuccessful as access was difficult and the "park level" lacked activities to attract users. The lack of use and the design with elaborate planters that provided hiding places created an image as an unsafe area, and access became more restricted for security reasons.
The Lincoln Statue and the adjoining cannon were removed from the park during construction of the library. Upon completion, the Lincoln Statue was returned, but the cannon remained in the City Public Works yard. From that location it was "loaned" to Shoreline Village in 1983 to help add ambiance to that then newly opened retail site on the downtown shoreline. It remains at that location in 2009, although a few attempts have been made to have it returned to Lincoln Park.
From 1978 to 2004, Lincoln Park was maintained and operated by the Public Works Department as part of the Civic Center. During this time the shuffleboard courts and roque courts were removed for security reasons and replaced by lawn area. Between 2004 and 2009, several plans have been proposed to redevelop Lincoln Park and especially the library roof section of the park, which leaks into the library. None of the plans has been found to be affordable. In February 2009, the Parks and Recreation Commission approved a plan to create a dog park in the lawn area of the park. The Downtown Dog Park opened on September 12, 2009.