Lincoln Square Park (Oakland Square) is a public park located at 250 10th Street (Original "Clubhouse" is at 261 11th Street) in Chinatown. It includes a recreation center, a play structure shaped like a Chinese junk, basketball courts, and a children's garden.
This is a busy and well-loved park with many kids, families, older folks, and more. It seems like it's been like this for a long time. Here's a short personal narrative from someone who grew up going to this park as a child.
On December 20, 1983, Lincoln Square was designated an Oakland Landmark #LM 83-401.
Different parts of the park have undergone improvements in the last ten years.
The main area of the park (the part with the basketball courts) was renovated in 2006 with funding coming primarily from the Golden State Warriors. Here's more from Pat Kernighan's newsletter about that project.
A few years ago, part of the park was redone to provide green space, hard-court play area, benches, and a corridor between 10th and 11th. It looks like it was a big success because the new space is well-used - kids play on it, people do tai chi on it, and people are frequently sitting on the benches. The city's site about the park says: "In partnership with the City of Oakland’s Office of Community and Economic Development Agency, Oakland Redevelopment Agency, and the Stewardship Council, we will begin construction of the new Lincoln Square Outdoor Recreation Corridor. This area will feature a turf field, hard-court play area, stretching and fitness station, café seating, an elevated stage, an improved walking corridor and interpretative panels educating the community about our local natural resources such as the Lake Merritt Wildlife Sanctuary and the San Francisco Bay." (Please note that the park does not have an elevated stage or interprative panels - it looks like this part of the plan didn't happen.)
History and Usage
Back in the late 1800s, the City of Oakland had the wisdom to set aside seven plots of land in the greater downtown area, to serve as town squares, or public gathering places for the community. There are only five squares remaining today, including Lafayette, Jefferson, Harrison, Madison, and Lincoln Square Park. Of the remaining squares, Lincoln Square is the only park that provides programmed activities and services for the public.
Up until the early 2000s, the park was primarily used by the adjacent Lincoln Elementary School, small groups of local Asian teenagers, and very few senior citizens. As of 2017, there are nearly 2,000 Lincoln and charter school students within 1/2 mile that use the park on a daily basis.
With no large scale public senior center in Oakland Chinatown, active adults also converge on Lincoln Square and use the recreation center for line dancing, brush painting, social dancing, Tai chi and table tennis.
10th Street, 11th Street, Harrison Street, Alice Street, Oakland, California