Poinsett Park – El Cerrito CA


The Works Progress Administration (WPA) developed two parks in El Cerrito, one of which is Poinsett Park in the Mira Vista section at the north end of the town.  The date of the work is unknown to us.

Poinsett Park occupies a narrow strip along a small creek running downhill for roughly two blocks.  The upper end is riparian vegetation, after which the creek disappears into a large culvert and the park is made up of a series of leveled areas stepping down the steep hillside.  First comes a lawn; then a children’s playground; then a barbecue pit and refreshment stand. At the bottom end, there is a large asphalted area with basketball and kickball courts, carved partly into the hillside, which is held up by rock walls.

While there have been improvements made over the years, the work of the WPA is evident in the leveling, rock walls and barbecue stove.  The refreshment stand (or equipment storage hut?) may well be New Deal in origin, as are two old street light standards along the upper (naturalized) portion of the park.



Source notes


"Two of the parks in El Cerrito were constructed by the W.P.A., (Works Progress Administration). One is Huber Park at Sea View Drive and Terrace Drive, and the other Poinsett Park, built between Poinsett and Rosalind Avenue in the Mira Vista section of town. The W.P.A. also constructed a swimming pool at the Camp Herms site where the old Bates and Borland quarry was located (a few hundred feet from the today Arlington Park). A number of streets, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks were constructed under the W.P.A. and it played a large part in the development of the city."

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on October 31, 2018.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

5611 Poinsett Ave.
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Coordinates: 37.9348155, -122.3177825

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