Property for Totland was purchased by the City of Berkeley in 1948. The Virginia-McGee Neighborhood Council planned and constructed the park and play areas with City staff assistance. Numerous work parties, representing hundreds of hours of volunteer time, were held from August through October 1949. After the playground was completed, the Parks and Recreation Commission approved design plans for the clubhouse on October 26, 1949. The park was renovated in the late 1990s with the help of the Friends of Totland, and the mural on the clubhouse was designed by Jennifer Burke, coordinator of the Young Artist Program (YAP) and painted by numerous volunteer parents and children who were part of YAP.