Politicians and activists are working hard to make sure the historic Chicano Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan gains National Landmark Status. In 1969, the Coronado Bay Bridge bridge was built on top of Logan Heights, which had once been the West Coast’s second largest “Chicano Barrio community.” Since then, the community has brought the support beams to life, painting murals to honor Latino culture, its heroes, anti-heroes, and artists. U.S. representative Juan Vargas summed up what Chicano Park means in a statement to the San Diego Union Tribune: “Chicano Park is a cultural mecca that highlights the activist and artistic contributions of our local community.” If you’ve never been, here’s a quick look at some of the amazing art and history found in Chicano Park.
The Chicano Park kiosko, which is a nod to Mayan architecture, serves as a meeting place for community events.
Countless cultural icons — from Mexico to Cuba — are gorgeously painted in this mural.
A different angle of the previous mural shows even more detail.
The famous words of Emiliano Zapata, one of the revolutionary leaders who helped overthrow Mexico’s President Díaz in 1911, are displayed on one of the pillars.
Most of the larger-than-life paintings each tell a story of the history of Latino culture.
Others are a celebration of Latino artistry, showing off the ingenuity and creativity found within the community.
The murals honor culture nearly destroyed by colonizers.
These murals are maintained out of pocket by artists and local groups. If given National Historical Landmark status, the murals and sculptures would receive federal protection.
The music group Prayers filmed their latest video in Chicano Park. The murals provided the perfect backdrop for their message of unity.
CREDIT: UPROXX / YOUTUBE
There’s even an hour long documentary on YouTube, highlighting many important points in the park’s history. Watch that here.
For now, however, the future of Chicano Park in Barrio Logan is uncertain.
To become a National Historical Landmark, certain conditions must be met. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, landmarks must “tell stories” highlighting “their importance to the history of the entire nation, not just local communities.” The status also requires the seal of approval from the Secretary of the Interior, who would have to do a personal inspection of Chicano Park. As of today, a bill has been introduced to the House of Representatives, so the fate of Chicano Park’s status will be decided before January 3rd, 2017.