Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park
First Park in Culver City
Location: Marker is at the intersection of Braddock Drive and Le Bourget Drive, on the right when traveling east on Braddock Drive.
City/State: Culver City, California
Categories: Notable Places
This land was first traversed by Native Americans, called Tongva, (later known as the Gabrielinos). Under Spanish rule, it was settled as a portion of Rancho La Ballona. After Culver City was incorporated in 1917, the property became a horseracing track (1923-24), and in 1924, a reported 50,000 people attended the opening of "The Speedway," a board racetrack.
This section was designated as "Victory Park," the first park in Culver City in 1927. The name was changed in 1964 by the city council to honor United States medical missionary Dr. Paul Carlson, who was born in Culver City in 1928. Dr. Carlson was killed in 1964 while serving in the Republic of the Congo and he was survived by his wife and two children. In 1993, President William Jefferson Clinton addressed Culver City citizens in this park on health care.