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Alameda’s ‘Svendsen Maritime Park’ Officially Named

“It was a very late meeting…but WE WON!!!!!!” This was the email we received from Sabrina Svendsen the morning after the Alameda City Council voted to name Alameda Marina’s new park “Svendsen Maritime Park.” The result came after much campaigning, community input, and many meetings.

Svend Svendsen sailing
Records show that Svend Svendsen immigrated to the US from Denmark in 1956.
© 2024 Courtesy Svendsen Family

It wasn’t smooth sailing, Sabrina had admitted in February. Despite gaining support from three out of five members, the proposal still faced opposition.

“The council decided they wanted the parks and recreation department to dive deeper into my dad’s contributions, including a background check, before making a final decision,” Sabrina had told us. We looked into the information tabled on the council’s website last week and could see the effort that had gone into uncovering all of Svend’s history.

Svend moved to California from New York sometime between 1957 and 1960, possibly driving across the country.
© 2024 Courtesy Svendsen Family

The Svendsen family’s campaign was presented to the council in July 2022. At that time, “Svendsen Maritime Park” joined nine other names under consideration, including Dockside Park, Riveter’s Waterfront Park, Shipbuilder’s Park, Tibbitt’s Shipyard Park (Barnes & Tibbitts shipbuilding company 1919-1922) and others, all based on the idea of the park’s waterfront location. By January 2023, council staff had narrowed the list to two contenders — Svendsen Maritime Park and Riveter’s Waterfront Park. As we might expect, the research on Svend Svendsen delivered a positive account of the man who had contributed so much to the Bay Area and its sailing community.

Sabrina says the naming process was more than just a tribute. “[I]t’s a testament to the values and history my dad and the boat works represented.” We can see that, and are happy that the new park will be named in honor of someone who was known and beloved within the community he worked hard to support.

Sven's sailboat Svendle
The Alameda Post wrote that Svend fostered youth development by sponsoring junior sailing programs at Encinal Yacht Club and Island Yacht Club, and with the Sea Scouts.
© 2024 Courtesy Svendsen Family

After perusing the Alameda City Council’s Executive Summary regarding this naming process, we understand the park (privately maintained and open to the public) will include a continuation and realignment of the San Francisco Bay Trail, open lawn areas, waterfront promenade, seating and picnic areas, and a long floating dock to launch, store and instruct on non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, small sailboats, and paddleboards.

The image below is an artist’s rendering of the new park’s proposed layout.

We know the actualization of the park is still a long way off, but we look forward to seeing the community enjoy many hours of fun in what we hope all agree is a fitting tribute to Svend Svendsen.
© 2024 Photo supplied by Sabrina Svendsen

1 Comment

  1. Luther Abel 3 weeks ago

    Hooray!
    I kept my boat at Svendsens from 1995 to 2011 when I moved into a waterfront home in Alameda. Great marina, great services, great chandlery.

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