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San Ramon in Contra Costa County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Athan Downs

Byron D. Athan - a Life of Public Service

— Celebrate San Ramon's History —

 
 
Athan Downs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
1. Athan Downs Marker
Inscription.  Born in San Francisco in 1918, Byron Athan joined the Army in 1941, and retired in 1964, as a Lieutenant Colonel. He served during WWII in the Pacific Theater and at the Pentagon. Byron enrolled in law school at the University of San Francisco prior to the war and completed his studies while on active duty following the war. He became an attorney in 1947. He moved to San Ramon in 1964, and involved himself in the area’s rapid growth from small farming communities to incorporated cities, serving on the board of directors for the Valley Community Services District (whose name changed in 1977, to the Dublin-San Ramon Services District) from 1966-1973. He served as President of the Board of Directors during the time a $6.7 million bond was passed with 73% of the vote. This park bond funded the development of the first two San Ramon parks, a senior center, and the San Ramon Olympic Pool. He was also involved with the creation of a park dedication fee paid by developers which helped to fund the District’s expanding network of community park and recreation assets in both San Ramon and Dublin. The Valley Community Services District deeded its parks,
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pools, and recreation centers to the City of San Ramon in 1988.

”Byron was always a gentleman, had a …strong character, [and was] a proud family man. He…was bright, articulate, and inquisitive. He loved the City so much, he felt is was an honor to serve.”
- Carol Rowley, City Council member 2003-2011

Byron served on the committee that led to the city’s incorporation in 1983. Thereafter, he served as City Attorney 1983-1995, on the City Council 1995-1999, Mayor 1998-1999. City Attorney 2004-2009, and as Interim City Manager twice. Prior to his passing on November 25, 2009, he was awarded the title of City Attorney Emeritus by the San Ramon City Council for his lifetime of public service.

Athan Downs

In recognition of his support, as president of the Valley Commuinty Services District, for the park bond that funded development of San Ramon’s first public spaces and his unwavering commitment to issues affecting community parks and recreation, the Dublin-San Ramon Services District (as successor to the Valley Community Services District) named this park Athan Dows in honor of Byron D. Athan.

This 20-acre community park began with soccer fields, with four baseball fields added after its opening in 1976. The City of San Ramon took over operations in 1988, and renovated the park in 1989 and again in 1996.
Athan Downs Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
2. Athan Downs Marker
In 2013, the playground was replaced with the City’s first universally accessible playground.

The public art piece, “Legacy” by sculptor Madeline Wiener, located adjacent to the tennis courts, was commission in Byron Athan’s honor as a tribute to his lifetime of service to his family, his community, and his country.

The City of San Ramon encourages our residents to enjoy this beautiful park in celebration of our historic past. By acquiring, protecting and maintaining this valuable parkland, the City of San Ramon is preserving for current and future generations natural places where people and other living things can thrive.
 
Erected by City of San Ramon.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public WorkParks & Recreational AreasPatriots & PatriotismSports. A significant historical year for this entry is 1976.
 
Location. 37° 44.979′ N, 121° 57.348′ W. Marker is in San Ramon, California, in Contra Costa County. Marker can be reached from Montevideo Drive. The resin marker is mounted to a metal stand near the park building at the north end of the parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3015 Montevideo Drive, San Ramon CA 94583, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Forest Home Farms Historic Park (approx. one mile away);
"Legacy" by Artist Madeline Wiener image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
3. "Legacy" by Artist Madeline Wiener
Installed July 2016
Working Together (approx. one mile away); The Business of Running a Farm (approx. one mile away); From Horse to Horsepower (approx. one mile away); Sunrise to Sunset (approx. one mile away); Bounty of the Land (approx. one mile away); First People of the East Bay (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Boone House (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Ramon.
 
Back side of "Legacy" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
4. Back side of "Legacy"
"Legacy is dedicated to Athan Downs namesake Byron Athan who dedicated his life to public service and the City of San Ramon."
Right side of "Legacy" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
5. Right side of "Legacy"
Left side of "Legacy" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
6. Left side of "Legacy"
"Shadow Dancers" by David Boyer image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
7. "Shadow Dancers" by David Boyer
Near the center of the park
Athan Downs Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joseph Alvarado, July 9, 2022
8. Athan Downs Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 15, 2022. It was originally submitted on July 11, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. This page has been viewed 118 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 12, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California.   7, 8. submitted on July 15, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Mar. 2, 2024