Oakland Unveils Improved Access and Entrances to Lakeside Park, Children’s Fairyland and the Garden Center

Date Posted: August 27th, 2018 @ 12:00 AM
Last Updated: March 19th, 2022 @ 3:11 PM
Officials and members of the community at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Lake Merritt Improvement Project

News from: Oakland Public Works


August 27, 2018

Oakland Unveils Improved Access and Entrances to Lakeside Park, Children’s Fairyland and the Garden Center

Oakland, CA – City and community leaders cut the ribbon today officially unveiling a complete makeover to the entrances of Lakeside Park, its garden center, and the historic Children’s Fairyland theme park.

The Lake Merritt Improvement Project was led by Oakland Public Works (OPW) with the close partnership of Children’s Fairyland. It represents years of investment and work by the City of Oakland and numerous stakeholders, including Bottomley Design & Planning and Ace Architects, Oakland firms that collaborated on an ambitious and artful upgrade to the design of the parks’ entrances.

"Oakland Public Works is dedicated to delivering Oaklanders a better, more beautiful, more accessible and usable public space, and this project delivers on every front,” OPW Director Jason Mitchell said. “We’re proud to offer improved and beautified pathways and access to these parks and spaces that serve every Oaklander.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about having an iconic new entry way to welcome our community’s families,” said Children’s Fairyland Executive Director C.J. Hirschfield.

The project improves pedestrian safety, accessibility, and pathways at the entrance to Lakeside Park, Children’s Fairyland and the Garden Center. Some of the features of the project include (see descriptions and corresponding areas on the map below):

1. Entrance to Lakeside Park–New construction includes sidewalk widening and bulb-outs at corners to create expanded pedestrian plaza area adjacent to Children’s Fairyland, a shorter pedestrian crossing, and improved intersection alignment with Grand Avenue. Other improvements include installation of storm water retention planters; a new street light and traffic signal; new pedestrian crosswalks across Grand Avenue and across Bellevue Avenue with new ADA curb ramps; and relocation and improvement of AC Transit bus stop on Grand Ave. including benches and landscaping near the bus shelter.

2. Entrance to Children’s Fairyland–New grand stairway entrance way with new whimsical metal handrails designed by Ace Architects and fabricated by Ferrous Studios of Richmond, a new ADA accessible pathway from the new entrance plaza of Children’s Fairyland, a colorful, whimsical sign produced by Oakland’s Arrow Sign Company, and new pathway lighting.

3. Sidewalk Widening, Bus Loading Zone, and ADA Parking–The existing sidewalk was widened to improve pedestrian accessibility and includes a new concrete seat wall. New ADA parking stalls along with a new bus loading zone were also installed along Bellevue Ave near the Children’s Fairyland entrance.

4. Entrance to the Garden Center–New landscaping, pathways and ADA compliant ramp to the building were installed. Two new Garden gates commissioned by the City’s Public Art program, designed and fabricated by local artist Shawn Lovell will be installed in the coming months.

5. Access Pathway–The pathway that begins at Bellevue Ave. near the Garden Center and continues across the front of Children’s Fairyland and out to Grand Ave. was repaved to provide improved pedestrian accessibility.

The project partners include:

  • Ace Architects
  • Arrow Sign Company
  • Bottomley Design & Planning
  • Children’s Fairyland, Inc.
  • Ferrous Studios
  • Oakland East Bay Garden Center Inc.
  • McGuire and Hester Construction
  • Shawn Lovell Metalworks
  • City of Oakland

Project funding sources include:

Oakland Trust for Clean Water and Safe Parks (Measure DD)
Regional Open Space, Wildlife, Shoreline and Parks (Measure WW)
Transportation Sales Tax Funds (Measure B)
Federal Surface Transportation Funds
The office of former Oakland councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente
Diane and Neil Goodhue

Project construction cost: $2,250,000.00

Construction duration: April 2017 – August 2018

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