Archive for Monday, August 14, 1995

S SOUTH PARK

August 14, 1995

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South Park was founded in 1854, and was a prime spot for cattle grazing.

Cows used to graze on its green grasses, political leaders used its rosy gardens as backdrops, and a crew of pro-slavery marauders once staged the city's most fiery and deadly attack from its open spaces near downtown.

South Park has grown up with Lawrence, and local preservationists want to keep it that way.

"It's a link to our past, but it's also a link, in some ways, to our future," said Dennis Enslinger, the city's historic resources officer. "It's still very much of a social activity area for the city."

Tuesday night, Lawrence city commissioners will consider making an application to place the 31-acre park on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places.

The application would be sent to the city's own Historic Resources Commission for review, before being sent back to the city commission for adoption or rejection

The listing's purpose is twofold, said Marci Francisco, president of the Lawrence Preservation Alliance. First, it would ensure that any development within 250 feet of the park would be held up to historical scrutiny.

Second, the listing would ensure that future generations of Lawrence residents would know about the importance of the park as a center of social activity and worthwhile projects.

"It gives a formal recognition to the feeling that this is a historic place," said Francisco, a former mayor.

The park includes several historic structures, including a bandstand built in 1906 by Buch's Military Band. The park also contains a polished granite fountain dedicated in 1910 by former President Teddy Roosevelt.

The fountain does not function today, but its original use was as a horse trough at the corner of Ninth and New Hampshire streets. It later was moved to Robinson Park and eventually to South Park, in 1965.

City commissioners will consider the application request during their meeting Tuesday, which begins at 6:35 p.m. at city hall, Sixth and Massachusetts.

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