Brown’s Park was welcomed by city leaders and residents at a
Mayor Wayne Baglin served as the emcee with a crowd gathered at
the park overlooking the Ocean at 551 S. Coast Highway.
The land was generously donated to the city by the Joseph E. Brown
family. There is a lot of history, family and memories connected to
“This park is very special to me. It all began when my
grandfather, Charles Bergfeldt, a businessman in Kansas City, but in
his heart an artist and a painter, discovered Laguna Beach in the
1930s,” Joseph Brown Jr. said at the event.
Brown said his father would sit for hours watching the ocean view,
which was a dream come true for him, and his mother loved
experiencing Laguna and the community.
A friend of Joe’s since 1935 was at the ceremony recounting
staying there a few summers.
The family came to the spot more than 50 years ago. They lived in
the house, built in the 1920s, until it took a hard hit from El Nino
After its demise Brown began to dream of a small public park in
its place. With the aid of the California State Coastal Conservancy,
together with the city, which jointly funded the $450,000 to turn it
into a park, Brown’s dream became a reality Tuesday.
Paul Morabito, chairman of the California State Coastal
Conservancy, lauded Laguna Beach for all its efforts in opening up
and creating public places and parks for the community.
“Laguna Beach is the only city in the state of California that has
stood up and opened coastline to the public and accepted all the
offers from the state to do so.”
Along with thanking the Brown family, Baglin thanked the former
mayor Phyllis Sweeney and city manager Ken Frank who he said had the
vision and desire to make the park a reality.
-- Suzie Harrison