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Conceptual rendering depicts area of Freedom Park planned for Navy Pier next to the USS Midway

Freedom Park at Navy Pier

Waterfront Development

Coming Soon!

The Port of San Diego and the USS Midway Museum have partnered to deliver the West Coast’s largest veterans park. When Freedom Park opens in 2028, it will celebrate the region’s military history and tell the story of everyday heroes who have served our country and preserved our freedoms. Construction is underway!

Conceptual rendering depicts area of Freedom Park planned for Navy Pier next to the USS Midway
Conceptual rendering depicts area of Freedom Park planned for Navy Pier next to the USS Midway

Location & Design


Freedom Park will be a nearly 10-acre park that will extend from the west end of Navy Pier, around the Midway, to the Bob Hope Memorial. It will provide visitors with unique experiences on the waterfront with numerous public amenities, including a nature garden, memorials and monuments, play structures, seating and shading, and interpretive signage.


Transforming Navy Pier

Rendering of the plan for Freedom Park on Navy Pier next to the USS Midway Museum

About half of the park will include the transformation of Navy Pier, which is adjacent to the USS Midway Museum. Features of this new park space will include:

  • A wide public promenade along north side of pier to connect the east and west ends with well-connected pathways and trails throughout the entire park with educational programming elements incorporated
  • Signage to invite and welcome public to access the public park 
  • Shade structure, seating, and bike parking along promenade 
  • A low seat wall with turf mound for sitting, picnic and active use
  • Plantings that emphasize California natives or plant species indigenous to the region, allowing for non-native, non-invasive shade trees
  • Mobile play and seating elements 
  • Flagpole and activated seating at west end of pier
  • Monuments:
    • John Finn Memorial (San Diego native, first Medal of Honor recipient in WWII)
    • Family Homecoming at west end of pier
  • A public restroom/comfort station 
  • Creation of a mobile phone microsite (or similar) dedicated to the history of the pier, the Midway, and San Diego Bay; mobile application will also compliment interpretive signage incorporated into the park on the pier and the existing park space in the surrounding area
  • A snack concessionaire to provide low-cost offerings

Click here to visit the USS Midway Museum’s Freedom Park Page

San Diego’s Front Porch

North Embarcadero Promenad

Freedom Park will be in the North Embarcadero area of San Diego Bay, which is the Port’s most visible and public waterfront. It’s often considered San Diego’s “front porch.” Freedom Park will add to the various public amenities – public parks and plazas, restaurants, public art and more – the Port has delivered in the area in recent years:

  • Lane Field Park, which is dedicated to and named after the field where the original Pacific Coast League Padres played from 1936-1957
  • A widened public esplanade lined with lush jacaranda trees and the “Grand Hall” along West Broadway
  • Portside Pier with first-rate views of San Diego Bay from public viewing areas and four Brigantine restaurants
  • Carnitas Snack Shack
  • BRIC – a lifestyle destination at Broadway and Pacific that includes the Intercontinental San Diego hotel and two Marriott hotels as well as restaurants and retail
  • Iconic public art by internationally acclaimed artist Pae White (incorporated into the pavilions, café building, entertainment and information centers, and the public restroom building)


Memorandum of Understanding and Port Proclamation

After many years of collaboration among Port staff, the Midway, and California Coastal Commission staff, the Board of Port Commissioners authorized a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on April 12, 2022, memorializing the plan to convert Navy Pier into a park and each party’s commitments and how to split the cost to build the park. The project is currently estimated to cost about $65 million. The Port of San Diego has contributed $11.7 million via Port Economic Recovery Program funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act for structural pile improvements. The Midway will contribute funds for the headhouse demo, pier reinforcement, and full park buildout. When the park opens, the Port and Midway will split ongoing maintenance costs.

On February 13, 2024, the Board of Port Commissioners approved a proclamation formally designating the park area of Tuna Harbor and Navy Pier, nearly 10 acres total, as Freedom Park upon completion of park construction on Navy Pier.

A view looking from the flight deck of the USS Midway Museum towards downtown San Diego.
Image depicting Navy Pier adjacent to USS Midway Museum

Coastal Development Permit and Construction Contract

On February 9, 2023, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to issue a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to the Port of San Diego and the Midway for the project. The CDP allows for demolition of the headhouse structure at the entrance to the pier, structural repairs/rehabilitation on and under the pier in the vicinity of the demolished headhouse, and then construction of the park. A structural pile improvement project was recently completed beneath the pier. The Port anticipates starting demolition of the headhouse building in early 2024, followed by additional structural improvements on and under the pier, and subsequently construction of Freedom Park.

On February 13, 2024, the Board of Port Commissioners approved a $7.4 million contract to AMG Demolition and Environmental Services, Inc. for demolition of the headhouse. Demolition is anticipated to begin in spring 2024. Park construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2025.