By Citizen Cane
The Incredible Shrinking Park can still be observed in Ocean Beach at the intersection of Green and Soto Streets. It’s officially known as Collier Park, and consists of approximately 6.7 dedicated acres if you include the Point Loma Native Plant Reserve. That might sound large, but it’s barely a fraction of the original size of the park before it began shrinking.
Travel back in time with the aid of the Fall 1957 Thomas Brothers Map, and you can see the park was bounded by Soto, Green, Valeta, and almost to Wolcott (about two blocks from the present day Stumps Market.) If we make a comparison to some streets that are more familiar in Ocean Beach, then readers should be able to visualize the size of the park a little better. Plunk the park down on the map with one corner at Newport Avenue and Abbott Street, and the length of the park would stretch all the way to Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. The width would go all the way over to the alley between Cape May and Brighton Avenues. That’s 3 long blocks in length, and 3.5 short blocks in width.
There are a number of reasons and justifications that have caused the park to shrink. You can read about some of that unpleasantness here. Take your children to Collier Park, and tell them the sad story of The Incredible Shrinking Park. It’s a lesson worth learning.
Visitors probably won’t be able to see the park shrink. The shrinkage isn’t linear and gradual. It shrinks in sudden chunks. It’s pretty complex stuff, but a team of scientists at Lucys Bar have estimated that by the year 2023 the Incredible Shrinking Park will have to be renamed as the David Charles Collier Memorial Parking Space. Enjoy it while you can.