Thursday, September 21, 2017

Buffalo's Humboldt Park (9/20/2017)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Today a visit to Frederick Law Olmsted's The Parade (1874) section of the Buffalo park system. Long called Humboldt Park, it was renamed Martin Luther King Jr Park in 1977. Originally designed to be a military parade ground (for which it was used only once,) its purpose changed in 1896 for general recreation with the addition of a vast circular pool for wading, toy boating, and ice skating. With a diameter of 500 feet and an area of five acres, it remains the largest wading pool in the country.
Humboldt Park was once connected to Delaware Park by Humboldt Parkway, but in 1961-1965, the below-grade Kensington Expressway was built, which erased the parkway and split the neighborhood.
Buffalo Museum of Science (1929, designed by
August Esenwein and James A Johnson)
Attached to the Museum of Science is the Dr Charles R Drew Science
Magnet Elementary School (1990), making the museum the first in the nation
to have an elementary school both physically and programmatically linked.
The Cottage Garden gateway (1920s)
The Cottage Garden was designed to look as if grown
by accident, and is on the site of the former Rose Test Garden
Casino (c. 1926, designed by H L Beck, City Architect)
Humboldt Basin now has a Splash Pad in the center, because using the entire basin as a wading pool
would now require hiring 33 lifeguards (!), but it is still used as a skating rink in the winter
Conservatory (1907-1909, designed by Lord & Burnham Co)
Behind the hedge in front of the conservatory is sort of a rose garden
Four Freedoms Memorial
Freedom of speech, freedom of religion...
Freedom from want, freedom from fear...  from
Franklin D Roosevelt's 1941 State of the Union address
Shelter House (1903-1904, designed by Robert A Wallace)
Martin Luther King, Jr Tribute Plaza (1983, designed by John Wilson)
Bust of Martin Luther King, Jr (1983, by John Wilson)
with a relief of the MLK at the podium
during his "I Have a Dream" speech
The Masten District Little Free Library is empty...
P.S. After lunch on Thursday, September 21, 2017, I was taken to the former St Mary's Seminary to see the gymnasium where we had played basketball.  It is now the offices of Allentown Pediatrics.
560 Franklin Street (1900), the former St Mary's Seminary,
a girls' boarding and day school, open 1917 until at least the 1970s
The gymnasium was tiny, surrounded by a low oval balcony,
with baskets attached to the balcony railing at each end
The half court line was also the free throw line for both ends!
Bright because of the skylight

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