Port of San Diego, USS Midway Museum’s Proposed ‘Freedom Park’ Moves Forward 

USS Midway
USS Midway
The USS Midway Museum. Photo via Midway Museum.

The Port of San Diego and USS Midway Museum are moving forward on a proposal to turn the Navy Pier into a public space to be named “Freedom Park,” the port announced April 13. 

Port commissioners inked a Memorandum of Understanding encompassing financial commitments for the project from the port of $11.7 million in federal stimulus funds and the museum’s contribution of at least $30 million. 

Work on the project involves demolishing the headhouse on the pier, finishing pile improvements and pier reinforcements, building out the park with features that honor San Diego’s military history and other amenities, according to the port. 

“Our agreement with the USS Midway Museum is a major milestone in delivering an exciting new public park – and improving public access – on the North Embarcadero,” Port Commission Chairman Dan Malcolm said. “In collaboration with the Midway as well as the California Coastal Commission, we will create a better experience for all who visit our San Diego Bay waterfront.” 

With the MOU now approved, the port plans to keep working with the Midway and the California Coastal Commission on the design details of the park, which is to sit on the 5.7-acre pier.  

The port would then move toward obtaining the coastal development permit, which is expected to be issued in early 2024. Before construction starts, the headhouse would be removed and structural improvements made to the pier. 

 The plan is to open the park in early 2029, according to the port. 

By Karen Robes Meeks