Monday, February 27, 2012

Then and Now: Fayette or Firemen's Park

Here are a photo of Firefighters Memorial Park and a 103-year-old post card taken from approximately the same spot near the south-west corner of the park.

According to the City of Syracuse's Parks Department website: Commonly known as Fayette Park, this 1.2 acre park has been known as Centre Square (1827), LaFayette Park (1838), Fayette Park (1917) and Fayette Firefighters Memorial Park (1972). In 1843, Fredrick Douglass, renowned abolitionist and orator, addressed a Syracuse audience on this site.

The difference of gardening styles separated by a century is striking. One hundred years ago this park was used by families, friends and neighbors to stroll among beautiful and naturalistic ornamental shrubs. Much of the growth was at eye level along with mid-sized and mature upper level trees, making the park a much more intimate space and a varied visual experience.

Today's park has uninterrupted sight lines from end to end, more benches, several picnic tables, and very easy maintenance: mowing and raking, and the occasional weeding and re-graveling of paths. Parks staff take care to paint and refill the central pool every spring.  

The older park was surrounded by fine residences. Now only the east side remains very much as it was at the time of the early park, with the red brick Park Central Presbyterian Church (original church on this site 1847 replaced by present structure 1875), and the Hamilton White House (1840-42), remaining.

1 comment:

  1. The images are so interesting as is your commentary. I can just imagine that scene surrounded by stately homes.