Frederick Douglass Park

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Nashville, TN
United States
Frederick Douglass Park

Landscape Information

Fred Douglas Park

Established in 1934 by the Board of Parks Commissioners to serve Nashville’s African American community, this park was quietly opened without formal announcement two years later, following protracted opposition from White residents. Initially sited between Fite Street and the tracks of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (near the intersection of present-day Mansfield Street and North Ninth Street), the parcel contained a six-hole golf course and community center, with croquet and tennis courts added by 1949. The original park was destroyed in 1963 to make room for the Ellington Parkway. At the same time, twenty acres were acquired for a new park approximately one-quarter mile to the southwest. The park was initially known as Fred Douglas Park in both its first and second locations, but the spelling of its name was changed in 2017 to reflect the full and correct name of Frederick Douglass, the famous abolitionist and orator who visited Nashville in 1873. Now covering 32 acres bounded to the north by the busy Ellington Parkway and surrounded by a residential neighborhood, the park contains a baseball field, a soccer field, and a playground. The largely open landscape gradually slopes down from North Eighth Street towards the Frederick Douglass Head Start Center, located on the park’s western edge. Informal groupings of deciduous canopy trees provide shade in the northeast corner, while a wooded thicket occupies the southwest corner.