City Parks

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Entries - Entry Category: City Parks

Boyle Park

Boyle Park was created when John F. Boyle (1874–1938) donated a 231-acre tract of land in the southwestern area of the city to the City of Little Rock in 1929. The park was later expanded to include 243 acres. The park begins at 26th Street and Boyle Park Road, and Rock Creek runs through the park. In the deed, Boyle stipulated that the land was to be allocated for recreational use. If the property ever ceased to be used as a park, the title of the land would revert back to the Boyle family. Boyle Park was the third of its kind in the city. It was preceded by MacArthur Park in downtown Little Rock (Pulaski County) and Allsopp Park …

Burns Park

Burns Park in North Little Rock (Pulaski County) is one of the largest city-owned parks in the nation. The park acreage has a history of private ownership and subsequently of federal, state, and municipal government ownership. The land has been used over the years for farming, timber, military operations, and a public park. In 1893, the citizens of Little Rock (Pulaski County) gave a 1,100-acre tract of land north of the Arkansas River to the federal government. In exchange, the thirty-six-acre U.S. Army Arsenal grounds in Little Rock were deeded to the city for use as a public park. The Little Rock Arsenal property at East 9th and Commerce Streets became City Park and was later renamed MacArthur Park in …

Forest Park (Little Rock)

The Pulaski Heights area of Little Rock (Pulaski County) was once home to an amusement park known as Forest Park. It was built on the far western edge of what would eventually become part of the city. It was a popular recreational and entertainment attraction for citizens of Little Rock and surrounding towns for several years in the early twentieth century. In 1903, a viaduct was completed on West Third St. to cross the ravine and railroad tracks west of the Arkansas State Capitol. This enabled the Little Rock Traction and Electric Railway Company to build tracks to the west of town for electric streetcars. This led to the rapid development of Pulaski Heights, which was incorporated in 1905 and …

Gillam Park

Gillam Park was purchased by the city of Little Rock (Pulaski County) in the 1930s as a place to relocate jobless and homeless citizens during the Great Depression. It later became the site of a segregated Jim Crow–era park. Subsequently, it was the cornerstone of a multi-million-dollar slum clearance and urban redevelopment plan that sought to relocate much of the African-American population into that part of the city. In the twenty-first century, it is managed by Audubon Arkansas as a site of natural significance. The park is named in honor of Isaac Taylor Gillam. The purchase of Gillam Park was authorized by Mayor Horace A. Knowlton and the Little Rock City Council at a meeting on November 22, 1934, with …

Union Park (Little Rock)

In 1925, the ten-acre area now known as Union Park, located at the intersection of 36th and Potter streets in Little Rock (Pulaski County), was purchased by the Colored Sunday School Union. The Colored Sunday School Union was organized in 1902 by fifty-two member churches with a mission to develop the collective social, educational, and spiritual needs of its children and young people. It purchased the land to provide a recreational space for the African American community, as there were no public recreational facilities for Black citizens in or around Little Rock at the time. According to the 1935 Arkansas State Park Commission scrapbook documenting the work of Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 3777, the Colored Sunday School Union deeded …

War Memorial Park

War Memorial Park is a multi-use park just north of Interstate 630 in the Midtown region of Little Rock (Pulaski County). In November 1911, the Little Rock Parkway Association was formed with the express intent of securing and planning parks for public use. Within six months, it had consolidated with the new Little Rock Playgrounds Association, formed to secure public playgrounds for the city’s children. By 1913, the city had hired Massachusetts architect John Nolen to present a comprehensive system of parkways for the city. The plan was adopted, though never fully realized. However, the area that would become Fair Park presented a new and unique opportunity for the city to capitalize on Nolen’s 1913 plan. This area, called the …