Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Elmwood Park: Hidden Stairs

The Syracuse city website describes the history of Elmwood Park thus:

Elmwood Park has an unusually long and interesting history. The wealth of history associated with this site can be traced to 1796 when Elliot Herrin transferred title to Comfort Tyler. In 1806, a furnace was constructed on the site to cast shot and shells for the War of 1812. In 1880, the land was used for farmland, but by 1889 the property was transformed into William Pardee's "First Class Temperance Pleasure Resort." At that time, it covered about 17 acres and had two artificial lakes, picnic shelters, dance pavilions, a restaurant, concessions (such as a cigar stand and an ice cream parlor), amusements (such as Swan boats, rifle range, merry-go-round and the like), and the natural attractions of bluffs, stream and wildflowers. It was described as a "delightful spot, first rate, handsome, pretty and safe, an ideal place for a day's outing..."

In 1927, the natural beauty of Elmwood Park was clearly recognized and the park was developed with respect for the picturesque qualities of its rugged landform, forested slopes and natural water features. It was to be "a good example of the naturalistic park where beauty of the landscape is the predominating factor…a delightful unspoiled area of land surrounded by high-class residential property." As such, the design of all the incidental structures - bridges, walls, weirs, stairs, curbs, etc. - were to be in a rough and ready vernacular of rustic stone, natural borders or unfinished, heavy timber. Today the park's 65 acres continue to attract those delighting in picturesque scenery.


  1. A pleasant looking place. I like that the steps have been preserved.

  2. Regarding the festival: if you're coming up next weekend as opposed to this weekend, you'll have better luck. I just took my first pics this morning, and the tulips are just barely starting to emerge.