A third public meeting on the progress of the Ruocco Park design will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, November 2 at the Embarcadero Planning Center, 585 Harbor Lane in San Diego (map).
Ruocco Park is a 3.3 acre park planned for the southwest corner of West Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway on the former Harbor Seafood Mart site, north of Seaport Village. The park’s lead designer and landscape architect is Dennis Otsuji of ONA, Inc., a San Diego firm that provides services in landscape architecture, urban design and land planning. The Stephen Birch Aquarium and NTC/Liberty Station are two examples of the firm’s projects.
At the meeting, Otsuji, along with staff from the Port of San Diego, will present a summary of how the design of the park has evolved as the result of public input. Input received at the two previous public meetings includes a desire for contemplative space as well as areas where people can engage in active recreation. Participants have also expressed the need to integrate the project with its surrounding waterfront development.
Otsuji will present a newly revised design that addresses these concerns. The new design features open space for activities, events and gatherings as well as seating, tables and spaces for more passive pursuits. The design also includes opportunities for public art and different types of plants. The plants and landscaping will include drought tolerant plants.
After the public meeting, the park’s design will go before the Board of Port Commissioners in December. Following that, a fourth public meeting focusing on the park’s art concept will be held in early 2010.
Ruocco Park will be jointly funded by the Port of San Diego and $3.5 million in grant funding received from the Lloyd and Ilse Ruocco Fund. Lloyd was a noted San Diego architect and considered the father of the modern architectural movement in San Diego. His wife was a professor of art at San Diego State University and a distinguished interior designer. Together, they established a trust fund to provide money for building and maintaining a park in the central area of San Diego.