Memorial Park - IN

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Fort Wayne, IN
United States
Memorial Park - IN

Acquired by the Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners in 1918, 42-acre Memorial Park was designed by Superintendent of Parks Adolph Jaenicke as a memorial to the Fort Wayne lives lost in World War I. The land previously served as a golf course and occasional landing field to aviator Art Smith. Jaenicke’s design took advantage of the pre-existing golf course topography, inserting winding roads into the hills that created a canyon-like effect. The design was implemented with a Memorial Grove in 1919, a Memorial Column celebrating Art Smith installed in 1928, a War Memorial Arch completed in 1929, and the Pond Memorial Fountain built in 1930. In 1925 Jaenicke added a grotto modeled after the Blue Grotto of Capri, facing the historic Lincoln Highway and marking a gateway to and from the city. Recreational amenities include a 1941 WPA pavilion designed by Leroy Bradley, a baseball diamond that was home to a professional women’s baseball team from 1947 to 1954, playgrounds, and a swimming pool. The Blue Grotto has been razed and parking and vehicular roads have been altered since Jaenicke’s time, but the park retains most of its design integrity.