A dead-end street in West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms neighborhood runs right into a sidewall of Interstate 880. For years, this was a vacant patch of concrete, with an enormous pile of illegally dumped dirt filling a lot next door. For a time, it became the scene of laughter, ollies and kick flips.
A group of skateboarders decided to create an oasis in this impoverished corner of the city in 2014 and battled to keep the dreamland alive.
“I feel happy here,” Kevin Jenkins said when the park was still open. He’s one of the dozens of skaters and supporters who built the Lower Bobs skate park, which takes its name from the Lower Bottoms neighborhood and the business next door, Bob’s Warehouse. “Nobody’s bothering me,” he said. “I’m not doing drugs. I’m not on the corner wasting my time doing some other stuff I shouldn’t be doing in the first place.”
The park is the latest in a tradition of DIY skate parks, some of which have been legalized in other parts of California. San Diego’s Washington Street Skatepark was created in 1999, and after forming a nonprofit and negotiating with the city, it now draws skaters from across the U.S. The Channel Street Skatepark in San Pedro was constructed in 2002. Skater Andy Harris, president of the San Pedro Skatepark Association, says then-Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn was an important ally. – KQED Online
The park has had a rich history so far, and in just a couple weeks the P Stone Invitation will be taking place and Thrasher Mag’s resident contractor Austin Kanfoush fills in the blocks and gets Bob’s in shape. Raney, Ducky, Cold and more give his work the seal of approval in Thrashers Latest DIY video! If you want to skate make sure you bring some building materials or drinks for the locals and you will be more than welcomed!