The original Downtown Morgan Hill Pop-Up Park, pictured at the corner of Third Street and Monterey Road before it moved in June 2016.

The Downtown Morgan Hill Pop-Up Park—which has delighted local children for seven years with giant foam building blocks, chalkboard covered walls, climbing structures and other interactive features—has been dismantled to make way for a new mixed-use development.

But the Pop-Up Park at Second Street and Monterey Road, which was just displaced from its second location since it was founded in 2015, will live on, albeit in pieces of other parks and sites throughout Morgan Hill, according to city staff. The Pop-Up Park’s interactive amenities that have drawn so many visitors over the years will be relocated to newer parks in and around downtown Morgan Hill—such as the Railroad Park, Third Street Creek Park, Nob Hill Trail Park or Magical Bridge Playground.

“We are delighted to see how much enjoyment the Pop-Up Park has brought to the community,” said Assistant City Manager Edith Ramirez. “We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to property owner Dan McCranie for hosting the park on his site, and to the many artists, businesses and community members who have contributed to the creation and maintenance of this community space that has provided a fun and safe environment for our families for the last seven years.” 

This is the second time the Pop-Up Park has had to relocate due to new private property development. This time, McCranie is preparing to develop the new Edes Art Gallery, a two-story, 6,600-square-foot multi-use commercial project that features a fine art gallery, wine bar and café on the Pop-Up Park property, according to city staff. McCranie allowed the city to use the site at Second Street and Monterey Road for the temporary park for several years while he designed the project and obtained permits.

The city’s first version of the Pop-Up Park opened in 2015 at the corner of Third Street and Monterey Road—the former site of Simple Beverages and where Opa! restaurant is now. The park began as the “Bike Hub Park” and was filled with temporary art created by local and regional artists—including the Big Blue Chair built by City Councilmember John McKay and a giant mural by San Martin artist Lina Velasquez.

The park also featured handcrafted chairs and benches made by Walnut Creek artist Colin Selig, and a built-in tool stand and water station for cyclists.

“The Pop-Up Park created a canvas for the community to showcase art and celebrate its vision for a bike-friendly community,” says a press release from the City of Morgan Hill.

The Pop-Up Park moved to McCranie’s property in 2016, to make way for the development of Opa!, Mo’s and other restaurants at the Third Street intersection. The new site included most of the features from the original location, as well as two outdoor pianos.

The Pop-Up Park at Second Street also became home to numerous outdoor classes and events—especially after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic when many public activities were prohibited indoors.

Construction on the Edes Art Gallery is expected to begin by the end of June, according to city staff. The building is designed by architectural firm KTGY, and consists of two open levels for art displays and classes—as well as a wine bar and café.

The space will showcase a variety of art, including canvas, print, jewelry, pottery and glass, says the city’s press release.

McCranie is also the owner of Ladera Grill restaurant on Monterey Road at Third Street. He also owns Colibri Art Gallery on Monterey Road in downtown Morgan Hill.

“Dan McCranie is a pioneer (who) is elevating the arts and culture experience in Morgan Hill,” Ramirez said. “We are fortunate for his vision, commitment and passion for the arts.”

A rendering of the interior of the first floor of the proposed Edes Building art gallery and wine bar shows an open layout with plenty of space for art displays. Photo: KTGY
Previous articleMary Cortani honored as Woman of the Year
Next articleReligion: The gifts of life and freedom
Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here