The Latest on Pasadena’s New Urban Park


Danny J. Welch leading a site visit to the park (Photo – Deborah Dentler)

On Monday, April 4, City Council voted unanimously to name the city’s newest park Playhouse Village Park and to honor Pasadenan rock music legend Eddie Van Halen by naming the elevated event area “Van Halen Internship”.

By Deborah Dentler

On Thursday, April 7, residents and Playhouse Village Association (PVA) representatives were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the new public park on Union Street near the historic Pasadena Playhouse Theater.

Danny J. Welch, senior project manager for the city’s public works department, led the way around the park site, answering questions and pointing out site features. Guests weaved their way cautiously over expanses of dust and dirt, while Welch pointed to sleek new lampposts, handcrafted concrete forms (made on site) and the emerging outlines of a raised grassy mound where the visitors can watch outdoor shows and movies.

A newly built bathroom

Toilets and changing stations (Photo – Deborah Dentler)


“People sometimes complain about what on the surface looks like there’s been little progress,” Welch noted, “but what you don’t see is all the infrastructure under your feet.” Gas and electricity lines were installed, and the site had to be carefully designed to drain well in times of heavy rain. Running water will supply water fountains and prefabricated modular toilets and diaper changing stations.

Beneath the permeable paved parking lot (Welch boasted it was “the nicest parking lot of my career”) is infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations.

The dog play areas – one for small dogs, another for large dogs – are almost complete. New trees and shrubs will be planted over the next two weeks, depending on weather conditions, and colorful shade tents will be erected on a children’s play area. Once construction is complete, the City will begin work on a protected bike path for the adjacent Union Avenue.

The opening of the Playhouse Village Park is scheduled for mid-summer 2022.

Concrete racing areas

Dog Park (Photo – Deborah Dentler)

a man and woman with a baseball cap smiling

(RL) Marjorie Lindbeck, President of PVA, and Brian Wallace, Director of PVA. Real. (Photo – Deborah Dentler)

a tiled car park

Construction of a parking lot at Playhouse Village Park (Photo – Deborah Dentler)

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Deborah Dentler
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