A new visitor center is open at Kenneth Hahn Park. The center, which pays tribute to the late Kenneth Hahn, examines the legacy, leadership, and life of public service of one of the longest serving members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
“We look into the past and use that as inspiration to celebrate our collective future,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Chairman Ridley-Thomas invited Supervisor Janice Hahn, former Mayor and now Los Angeles County Judge James Hahn, and California Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas recently for a tour of the new center. The center showcases Supervisor Kenneth Hahn’s meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1961. Hahn was the only public official to greet Martin Luther King Jr. when he came to Los Angeles after confronting the police dogs and water hoses of Birmingham. It also showcases his work on the Los Angeles City Council (1947 to 1952), and his 40 years of service as Los Angeles County Supervisor (1952 to 1992). The exhibit reflects the depth of work done over Hahn’s career from advocating for enhanced parklands across the district, to bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles, and ensuring that call boxes were added to major highways.
“We remember when this was just the oil fields up here and our dad’s dream to turn this into a wonderful recreational facility,” said Judge Hahn.
The Baldwin Hills Regional Conservation Authority, Chaired by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, provided $1.3M in funding to the Department of Parks and Recreation to transform the community center into a state of the art visitor center. Hunt Design was hired to develop exhibits to showcase Kenneth Hahn’s legacy, and tell the history of the Baldwin Hills and various amenities at the park.
“My grandchildren and my daughter-in-law right now are swinging on the swing set in the park,” said Supervisor Hahn. “To see our father’s legacy displayed in such a beautiful 21st century manner is incredible – a mini-presidential library in the second district. Nothing made my dad happier than seeing people using this park.”
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, includes large areas of native coastal sage scrub habitat, lawns and landscaped areas, picnic sites, tot lots, fishing lake, lotus pond, community center and five miles of trails. One of the most actively used features is the park’s variety of footpaths and trails.
Other recreational improvements in the surrounding area include the Park to Playa Trail which will soon connect the Baldwin Hills Parklands to the Pacific Ocean and the Stoneview Nature Center which will be completed later this year.
The visitor center is now open to the public from 8:30-4:30 daily.