THE BTP! CAMPAIGN
In response to calls to "build that wall," BUILD THAT PARK! was founded as a campaign and competition to design a truly binational park at the westernmost end of the U.S./Mexico border, accessible to both Mexico and the U.S., and ultimately to realize this vision through the engagement and advocacy of the peoples of both nations.
Friendship Park is a half-acre plaza overlooking the Pacific Ocean at the border of San Diego and Tijuana, just 15 miles south of downtown San Diego. The plaza sits atop Monument Mesa and is part of the larger 800-acre Border Field State Park. Friendship Park was officially dedicated as a symbol of alliance between the U.S. and Mexico in 1971 by first lady Pat Nixon as a component of President Richard Nixon’s Legacy of Parks program. Nixon announced the gift of 372 acres of the Navy’s Border Field to the state of California for development as a park in his February 1971 environmental message to Congress. The grant to the state included “the entire boundary of Border Field including one mile of beach frontage and additional frontage on an inland bay.” The “bay” refers to the estuary area at the mouth of the Tijuana River.
The BUILD THAT PARK! campaign initially centered around the conceptual design of an International Friendship Park. All interested parties, including design professionals, students, and citizens, were welcomed to share their vision for this new chapter in our history as neighbors and allies.
The results of the Design Challenge were exhibited in August of 2021, at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, CA, as well as Bread & Salt in San Diego's Logan Heights, as part of Friendship Park 50, a week-long event observing the park's 50th anniversary.
Conceived of by architect James Brown of Public Architecture, BUILD THAT PARK! Is a program of Friends of Friendship Park, a non-partisan, grassroots coalition of individuals and organizations advocating for increased public access to the historic meeting place on the US-Mexico border.