Day 1218

Jackson Pond Playground

May 1st, 2015

This "fountain made of glacial rocks" (a bit of an overstatement) and the basketball courts behind it sit on the former site of Jackson Pond, once a popular recreational spot here in Forest Park. You can trace the progression of the site over the years using aerial photos:

  • 1924 — The pond exists in a relatively natural state.
  • 1951 — You can see the concrete shoreline that was built about ten years earlier.
  • 1996 — The pond is gone, but the concrete shoreline is still clearly visible. The pond was filled in around 1966, covered with concrete, and turned into a pond-shaped playground.
  • 2006 — Greenery! The playground was reconstructed around 2001 and is no longer a lifeless expanse of concrete. One remnant of the pond can still be seen: a short retaining wall running around most of the perimeter of the site.
The big E in the foreground of the photo above is the East part of a compass rose. Former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern must have been particularly fond of compass roses, judging by the number I've seen in parks and playgrounds built or renovated during his tenure. In between the cardinal direction tablets are other panels depicting natural scenes inhabited by little fairies.


  1. Chris says:

    I love this sort of post. I do the same thing on my blog,

    Keep up the good work. Your page is on my home browser and I read it every day.

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