Looking northeast from "Inspiration Point" in Tilden, March 2006
|Location||Richmond, California (Richmond View)|
|Area||42.5-acre (17.2 ha)|
|Operated by||East Bay Regional Park District|
|Architectural style||Rustic Park|
|NRHP reference #||92000313|
|Added to NRHP||April 9, 1992|
Alvarado Park (formerly Grand Canyon Park) is a subsection of Wildcat Canyon Regional Park in Richmond, California and is a National Historic Place. It is located at the mouth of Wildcat Canyon in the Alvarado Park section. Between 1909 and 1923, Alvarado Park was a private park that was owned and operated by local residents. In 1923, it was donated to the city of Richmond. Later it was admitted into the East Bay Regional Park District.
Acquisition and history
In ancient times the area was the site of one of the grandest of Ohlone native American villages. The Huichun band numbered 250 people at this site and loved here for 5,000 to 7,000 years. Then, in 1985, it was incorporated into Wildcat Canyon Regional Park and forms a historic district.
In its early years, Alvarado Park was served by its own streetcar line from the East Shore and Suburban Railway, a Key System precursor, which was later discontinued. The park district made certain improvements including a new children's play area, conversion of parking into meadows, and demolition of dilapidated structures. It was also the home of the Grande Vista Sanitarium, later known as Belgum Sanitarium. Though the associated buildings have since burned to the ground, their foundations and the surrounding grounds, including an orchard remain. The park also features distinctive and noted stone masonry, retaining walls, and classical stone lampposts. The lampposts are no longer lit. A stonework bridge spans Wildcat Creek in the park main entrance. The park district is currently struggling to return the river to a more natural state in hopes of restoring its fish population and their runs. The park also featured an open-air pavilion dance hall which was converted to a roller rink, and subsequently destroyed by fire.
- Wildcat Canyon Regional Park brochure, text side, East Bay Regional Park District, retrieved September 4, 2007
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Historic Places in Contra Costa County, retrieved September 4, 2007
- Historic Places Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine, Richmond Museum of History, retrieved September 4, 2007
- Chronology of the East Shore and Suburban Railway Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, El Cerrito Historical Society, retrieved September 4, 2004
- East Bay Trails: Hiking Trails in Alameda And Contra Costa Counties, by David Weintraub, (ISBN 0-89997-372-8) Wilderness Press, 2005, retrieved September 6, 2007
- Grande Vista Sanatarium History Archived 2007-10-06 at the Wayback Machine, Chaddickerson.com, retrieved September 6, 2007
- 1930 Richmond Census Tracts, United States Census Bureau, retrieved September 6, 2007