17th Street Park opens as Huntington Beach’s 79th Park

Veterans from American Legion Post 133 stand in front of their Memorial Hall. Photo by Kim Carr

Downtown Huntington Beach’s newest park, bordered by 17th and 18th Streets, Orange and Pecan Avenues, opened Saturday, Dec. 3, to the delight of local residents. It features walking trails, picnic/seating areas and lots of grass on 2.1 acres. There’s also the American Legion Veteran’s Memorial Hall with a beautiful flag pole and two meeting rooms that the community can rent for events. It also has parking on the premises.

At the Opening Ceremony, the daughter of Norm Worthy (the father of Huntington Beach’s Park Systems), Susan Worthy, and her friend, Gloria Alvarez, who used to play with Susan as kids on the same land, spoke to the welcoming crowd.

“The park and new Memorial Hall are beautiful!,” said Kim Carr, former Huntington Beach mayor. “I’m so grateful to see this project finally completed. This is a great addition for HB!”

Huntington Beach City Councilman Pat Burns, a former Community and Library Services Commissioner, worked on the project and said: “I believe the park was impressively designed and a great addition to the city and to that neighborhood. With the Memorial Hall building, this park and building will serve Post 133 of the American Legion and the community for multiple uses.”

Huntington Beach City Historian Jerry Person said: “It’s great seeing the neighborhood win over a big housing developer. A park is what the residents have wanted for years.”

Local resident Brian Cizek said: “I’m glad the locals have a park close by to take there kids to or walk there dogs and enjoy the outdoors and ocean air.”

The city said the park cost $2.4 million and construction began in January 2022. This property was originally gifted to The Huntington Beach Company in 1914. The building there now once served as a Santa Ana Army Air Base structure. In 1949, the city authorized Tom Talbert to buy it for $4,117  and  move it to its current site. The former Rodgers Senior Center was on part of the site from 1975 until 2021.