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Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok (Land of the First People)

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  Landscape Architecture

The Iipay Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok (Land of the First People) project at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park turned a city block with the former 2-story Caltrans District 11 Headquarters office building into a new public park, connecting Old Town to the north and creating a new gateway into the park.

California State Parks acquired the property from Caltrans in 2006, and after securing funding in 2013 proceeded to demolish the former Headquarters building and replaced it with meandering decomposed granite pathways, shaded gathering spaces, San Diego native trees and plantings, a dry creek bed along the historic alignment of the San Diego River, and local artwork and exhibits that tell the story of the Kumeyaay Native American peoples and their deep connection to the land.

The project team worked with local members from the Kumeyaay Diegueno Land Conservancy to design the exhibits, plantings, and overall project. The biggest impact of the project was replacing the unused, dilapidated building with a park space for the community. This completely opened up views and brought the site into the scale and character of the State Historic Park.

2829 Juan St, San Diego, CA 92110. Located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park

Project Owner/Developer:
California State Parks

Contact Name/Email:
Bob Patterson, bob.patterson@parks.ca.gov

Project Architect/Designer:
California State Parks, Southern Service Center

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  1. Teresa Pope

    What a beautiful way to honor that tribal group! Love it!

  2. Myrian Solis Coronel

    Absolutely stunning place! Thank you for the intentional and meaningful design. This is why I love SD!

  3. Kindley Walsh Lawlor

    Thank you to this team for this beautiful design and space!

  4. Kirsten Aaboe

    The elegant, muted and powerful mosaic installation is a wonderful honoring of those who have been part of the earth here.

  5. Barbara Green

    Amazing ideas that have come together beautifully. A terrific way to honor people of the “First Nation.”

  6. Kelly L Elliott

    Lovely contrast to the hustle and bustle of present life in San Diego, California


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