Friendship Park

CA_SanDiego_FriendshipPark_byTonyWebster-Flickr_2014_003_Sig.jpg
San Diego, CA
United States
Friendship Park

Landscape Information

Located 24 miles southwest of San Diego on Monument Mesa, this binational, half-acre, circular plaza is equally split between the United States and Mexico. Annexed from Border Field State Park, the site was opened by First Lady Patricia Nixon in 1971. The circular, natural stone plaza overlooks Imperial Beach 300 feet to the west. Divided east-to-west by a steel-and-mesh border fence that extends into the sea, the site, which was initially split by a low, barbed-wire fence, has become increasingly fortified. A second border fence on the American side, running parallel to the first, separates the plaza from Border Field State Park. This second fence is opened during limited hours on weekends to give access to the plaza via a stone path. A Mexican Myoporum planted by Mrs. Nixon to match what was planted on the Mexico side of the park grew directly east of the plaza and was replanted in 2011. Across the border fence, in Tijuana, the plaza has been integrated into the surrounding recreational Parque de la Amistad. The plaza is ringed by brightly painted cement cubes and is immediately adjacent to a picnic area and the Tijuana lighthouse. The court’s flagstone floor is laid out in the design of a sunburst. Contained at its center is a white outline of Mexico beneath Boundary Monument 258, a marble obelisk that demarcates the exact national border. The obelisk replicates a monument laid by the US-Mexico Boundary Commission following the Mexican-American War in 1848. The border fence on the Mexican side is illustrated with murals depicting themes of peace and cross-cultural understanding. The park remains largely undeveloped within the United States.