Plans to transform downtown Ventura’s Plaza Park into a multipurpose entertainment venue and park dubbed “The Play Ground” have added a new piece to the module: Gull Wings Children’s Museum.
The museum, originally located in Oxnard, shuttered in late 2015 but Julia Chambers, board president, says that the board has been actively looking for options to reopen the museum and that The Play Ground concept, created by Vincenzo Giammanco, founder of the California Beer Festival, struck a chord with board members.
“If you look at the drawings, any assumption you may have about a shipping container will disappear,” said Chambers. “It’s modular, it’s modern, it’s colorful, it’s adaptable; I think it would make a perfect site for an indoor/outdoor children’s museum.”
Chambers envisions that the museum would feature exhibits on engineering, art and physics and host field trips from area schools.
“It will constantly keep the park activated, which is the whole point of this program,” said Giammanco. The museum would operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Giammanco says that Gull Wings will also help in the design of a playground in the event center. Activation of the park is the theme surrounding The Play Ground’s concept, says Giammanco.
“Right now the narrative has been that we’re trying to kick out the homeless and displace them,” said Giammanco. “We’re trying to activate the park, bring back the community, and kick out the illegal activity; that’s what we want to do. By bringing in partners like [Gull Wings] . . . we’ll be able to change the face of what Plaza Park is.”
— Chris O’Neal