Decatur in Morgan County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Recreation and Refreshment
Restoring the Vision ... Preserving the Legacy
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Delano park was created with the democratic vision of a space that provides recreation and refreshment for all. As part of the "City Beautiful" movement of the late 19th century, parks and greenspaces were important components of sound civic planning. Early known recreational uses of the park included a nine hole golf course and tennis courts. New public facilities added during the 1930's included a playground, wading pool, bandstand (gazebo), dance pavilion, and picnic shelters. The recreational improvements made in the park in the 1930's "revealed that economic and social hard times did not cause an abandonment of imagination, humor, or fun." As Decatur's oldest planned public park, Delano park continues its role as a space for all people to reconnect with one another and nature.
The improvements made at Delano Park in the 1930’s brought new recreational opportunities for area residents. A guidebook issued by the WPA in 1941 states that the park had baseball, football, tennis, and playground facilities. (above) In 1933, children enjoy old-fashioned recreation and fun
Lawson Davidson, pictured above with his sister Christine, was born across Gordon Drive from the park in 1906. He recalled a time when his cow grazed in the park and children built underground forts. In the 1920’s, he was paid 25 cents to caddy on the nine hole golf course. The park also served as an outdoor theatre for children, and during the summer, a Chautauqua provided formal entertainment for adults.
(top) The Civil Works Administration (CWA) bathhouse and wading pool, shown under construction in 1933, offered refreshment for Decatur children. (bottom) Claudia Wright and Shirley Blankenship enjoy the wading pool in the park in 1956.
Location. 34° 35.832′ N, 86° 58.65′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is at the intersection of 8th Street and Prospect Drive, on the right when traveling north on 8th Street. Click for map. Marker located within Delano Park. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur AL 35601, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Health and Civic Welfare (within shouting distance of this marker); Social and Cultural Opportunities (within shouting distance of this marker); Carolyn Cortner Smith Beauty and Hope (about 400 feet away); Albany (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. John's Episcopal Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); War in Vietnam (approx. 0.8 miles away); World War One (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Decatur.
Categories. • Entertainment • Environment •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 489 times since then and 27 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.