Mission Statement
The Center's mission is to seek a balance between social, recreational
and cultural services to the diverse communities of Santa Cruz. The
Center strives to create a space that feels welcoming, comfortable,
safe and accessible to all who use it.
301 Center Street, Santa Cruz, Ca, 95060
9 am-9:30 pm Monday-Saturday
Closed on Sundays
(831) 420-6177
City of Santa Cruz
1978 as a community center

The Louden Nelson Community Center was named after London Nelson, a former black slave who willed his estate to the school children of Santa Cruz. The building was built originally as Laurel School, and was designed by William Weeks.  The playground of the former elementary school is now Laurel Park.

Mural on a back wall of the Center

Park visitors depicted in the mural (from left to right): Michael Ortiz Hill (March 27, 1957-October 22, 2022) with daughter, Nicole Lockwood (formerly Nicole Isaacson-Hill) on shoulders (July 19, 1978-present), 

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