By Thea Skinner
Triplicate staff writer
The evolution of Beachfront Park and the sea wall protection dike gave a face lift to Del Norte County after the March, 28,
tsunami crashed into town.
This new image began with a Disaster Redevelopment Plan that became a reality around 1966. The plan was originally created for the development of the beachfront involving local and tourist recreation, which was approved in 1962.
U.S. Representative Clem Miller helped Crescent City get federal grants under the Area Redevelopment Act.
The redevelopment plan was made possible through an authorized tsunami study and harbor model plan of the area.
Front Street was created in 1853, and was originally named A Street. The long standing Surf Hotel survived the tidal wave and is the tallest building along Front Street. Front Street was widened to 60 feet to accommodate more traffic.
Before landfill and the creation of Beachfront Park, Front Street was the closest street to the waterfront.
At one point, the harbor was dredged and the excess soil, called spoils, was used to create the beachfront. Beachfront Park had its own master plan, in which a scenic driveway and a seawall protection dike was created along the beachfront.
According to a Del Norte Historical Society volunteer, the original sea wall was built with Redwood planks.
Front Street was included in the redevelopment plan as part of the major loop street around the downtown area. This looping concept was implemented in order to shield the heart of Crescent City from traffic.
The junior Olympic size 40x80 foot Endert Swimming Pool was also added, and Mayor Peepe at the time turned the first shovel of dirt for the pool on January 28, 1964.
A hollow log was placed in the Billy Boone Square in November 1968. The tree was cut in about 1951 and sold to Crescent City for $900. The log weighs 60 tons and is 22 feet long. It contains 10,000 board feet of lumber.
City Council received a check for about $54,367 in 1973 as a gift from the late W. Earle Keller. The gift was used to construct and furnish the Cultural Center under the condition that one room be named after his wife, Florence D. Keller, and her paintings displayed in the building.