MacArthur Park History

The name “General Douglas MacArthur Park” was adopted on November 4, 1942. The park was dedicated on March 6, 1943. The branch library opened there in 1950. The community recreation center building was dedicated in October 1958 in an abutting building to the library.

Park improvements include basketball and tennis courts, a playground, picnic areas and a restroom building. The playground and restroom were redeveloped in 1988 with funds the 1984 State Bond Act. Additional playground improvements were completed in 1994 with Los Angeles County Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond Act of 1992 funds. The freestanding restroom was remodeled in 1996 to install artistic tile with a County Bond Act grant for graffiti prevention.

In 1994, the Homeland Cultural Arts Program, which had been housed in a rented space south of Anaheim Street, on Mahanna Avenue, was moved to the MacArthur Park Community Center. A trailer was added to the park for office space and a second trailer was added for graphics programs. A grant was obtained in 2002 from the 2000 State Parks Bond Act for the construction of a theater and gallery building for the Homeland Program. Construction began in 2009.

The restroom in the Community Recreation Center was remodeled in 1998 as part of the American’s with Disabilities Act transition plan with funding from federal Community Development Block Grants. In 2007, the Mark Twain Library moved to a new building in the block east of MacArthur Park across Gundry Avenue. The former library space was vacated and will be remodeled into additional space for the Community Recreation Center.

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