New Children's Museum Park

Turning a Small Site Into a Big Attraction

A new multi-use public park provides San Diego’s downtown residents and visitors of all ages a space to unleash their imaginations and contemplate the art of play. Taking advantage of a triangular parcel in front of the New Children’s Museum and the Convention Center, the artfully landscaped one-acre site also offers the museum an open-air venue for special events.

Harris provided construction management services, including inspection and office engineering, and the site now features a reading circle, 88 pear trees and palms, shrubs, ground cover, low-maintenance succulents, low-water-need Bermuda grass and an efficient irrigation system.

Core Elements

The $3.2 million project included:

  • Six steel structures, three of them shade trellises, some with seatwalls
  • Steel, aluminum and fiberglass reinforced plastic panels
  • Asphalt paver and concrete walkways
  • Electrical lighting systems with downlights in trellis areas and traffic intersection illumination
  • Playground equipment and rubberized surfacing

Beyond the Blueprints

Working entirely within a small site in a busy downtown area required innovative approaches to stockpiling materials, resolving complex utility-line issues and scheduling work and cleanup.

Harris also redesigned the storm drain system and fence structure and shifted footings to allow access to transit system and utility transformer connections, a gas main and a sewer line—all of which ran through the work site.

The museum couldn’t afford to miss a beat during construction, and Harris kept a close eye on scheduling to keep work, noise and debris from interfering with gala fundraisers, conventions and the nearby filming of commercials. And when an artist redesigned a climbing structure, Harris coordinated changes to the equipment, surfacing and other structures—and kept the project on schedule and within budget.


Civic San Diego


San Diego, CA




Construction Management




"Best Buildings" Project Achievement Award (new construction less than $10 million) - CMAA San Diego