Palms Park

In May 1958, the Los Angeles Times reported negotiations between Los Angeles’ Board of Library Commissioners and owners of the “Rainey property” at 2950 Overland Avenue for the new Palms Library.  That same month, the City’s Recreation and Parks Commission determined to create a park either on the Rainey property or at the corner of Overland and Rose avenues to the south. 
(The Rainey house is seen in the background.)

The first sanctioned BMX bicycle racing in the United States, if not the world, ran around a track at Palms Park on July 10, 1969.  (A Facebook page is dedicated to that history.)  Wikipedia’s BMX racing page reported (as of October 2017):

"On July 10, 1969, a group of boys riding their Schwinn Sting-Ray bicycles in Palms Park in West Los Angeles wanted to race.  A park attendant, Ronald Mackler, a teenager with motorcycle motocross (MX) experience, helped them organize.  Palms Park became to BMX as Elysian Fields is to American baseball, for at that moment Bicycle Motocross racing was born.  By 1973, entrance fees of US $4.50 (which included a US $1.00 insurance fee for the year) for a 10-week season of Thursday-night racing was charged, and the top three racers in the season were given trophies.  Then a new season of 10 weeks would start the following Thursday.  The track operated well into the 1980s largely unchanged, including the lack of a modern starting gate."

Todd Banks, one of the kid racers, shared his experience, beginning, " In nineteen-seventy when I was five years old my father would drive my brother Devin and myself on Friday nights to begin competing on a new kind of race course at a neighborhood city park. "  And BMX Action Magazine publisher Bob Osborn, shared the story of Palms Park BMX racing in the following video.
Birthplace of BMX

A Facebook page is dedicated to the Palms Park BMXers, and followed by a number of the racers.

​​ Mayor Poulson preferred the Rainey property  for the park, siding with Westwood Gardens Civic Association over the Palms Citizens Advisory Committee.  Maybe seeking to increase the prospective valuation of her land, in September 1958, Mrs. Rainey sought rezoning to build 144 apartments on the property .  Soon after, in October 1958, the City Council approved condemning the land for park purposes .  By December 1958, the parties agreed that the Recreation and Parks Department would buy the 4.7 acre Rainey property for $302,500 , with the Los Angeles Times reporting that residents had “ been after such a facility for the Palms-Rancho Park communities since 1947-48, when the Rancho Park Golf Course was being designed and constructed.

  In 1959, the City named the park "Palms Park," instead of Palms Pioneer Park , which was the name preferred by the Palms Chamber of Commerce.  Palms is not thought of as having its own "pioneers" separate from those of Los Angeles.  In fact, although it was established in 1886, it was not annexed to Los Angeles until 1915.  Eschewing the Palms Pioneer name  may have contributed to the Palms losing its sense of identity – something exacerbated with the 1965 opening of the Santa Monica Freeway  which cleaved  Palms from its historic northern portions which extended included the new "Palms Park."  After  neighborhood councils were established, Palms Park was within the area of the Westside Neighborhood Council , not the (later formed) Palms Neighborhood Council .

In 1960, the City funded converting the Rainey house into the park's clubhouse .  It later demolished the house and the remaining Rainey structures to erect a new recreation center , now called the Rosalind Wyman Recreation Center.  (A negative declaration was published on March 1, 1979 to “ replace the existing outdated structure. ”)
Aerial photograph ( courtesy UCSB from October 6, 1940, showing Rainey estate (lower left), Rancho La Lomita (to its upper right), and the Drive-In Theater at top right.  Santa Monica Air Line (now route of "Expo Line") runs from top to bottom; Overland Avenue crosses from left to right.   

Garnet Rainey  (1896-1943) and Marjorie “Marge” Rainey  (1905-1992) were regulars in Los Angeles’ society pages for decades.  (Marjorie's father, prominent car dealer  Ralph Hamlin (1880-1974), famously  raced  bicycles , then motorcycles, and finally automobiles in Los Angeles.)