“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rochester in Olmsted County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Central Park Plaza

Dedicated July 30, 2004

Central Park Plaza Marker image. Click for full size.
April 17, 2022
1. Central Park Plaza Marker
Inscription.  In 1856, W. D. Lowery donated his cow pasture to establish Rochester's first park, Central Park. In the 1800s Central Park was the gathering place for picnics, band concerts and ice cream socials with a majestic fountain as the centerpiece.

In 2004, Rochester's 150th anniversary, Leadership Greater Rochester–a program of the Rochester Area Chamber of commerce–partnered with Rochester Park and Recreation Department to restore the majesty of Central Park. This project included replacing the fountain, creating a brick plaza, replacing the sidewalks and improving accessibility for everyone.

The Leadership Greater Rochester class of 2004 would like to recognize the following community members for their generous support of our vision of Enhancing the Future While Preserving the Past.

Benike Construction · Charter House · Friends of Mayowood · KTTC Television · Lanmark Property Advisors · Leadership Greater Rochester Class of 2004 · Rochester Area Foundation · Rochester Rotary Club Foundation · Think Federal Credit Union

Central Park Plaza Marker image. Click for full size.
April 17, 2022
2. Central Park Plaza Marker
Click or scan to see
this page online
Conner Co. · Rochester Post-Bulletin · Yaggy Colby Associates

Aquilla · Centex Rodgers Inc. · Charles & Barbara Withers · Downtown Business Association · Eastwood Bank · Ellerbe Becket · Harold & Loraine Perry · Harvey TePoel · IBM Corporation · Johnson Printing · Knutson Construction · Mayo Foundation · Merchants Bank · Norma Sedlack · Olivia Blackburn · Olmsted County Historical Center Olmsted Medical Center · Premier Bank Rochester · Rochester Chamber of Commerce Foundation · The Tile Shop · Wal-Mart South · Wells Fargo Bank
Erected 2004 by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce and Rochester Park and Recreation Department.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Parks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
Location. 44° 1.541′ N, 92° 27.909′ W. Marker is in Rochester, Minnesota, in Olmsted County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 1st Avenue Northwest and 2nd Street Northwest, on the right when traveling south. Located on the restroom building in the center of Central Park in Rochester. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 225 1st Ave NW, Rochester MN 55901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Heritage House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Rochester Armory Building
Central Park Plaza image. Click for full size.
April 17, 2022
3. Central Park Plaza
(about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Avalon Building (about 600 feet away); The Chateau Theatre (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Plummer Building (approx. ¼ mile away); Calvary Episcopal Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Rochester Public Library Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); Conley Maass Downs Building (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rochester.
Additional commentary.
1. Central Park Marker
Please be aware that Mr. William Lowry's name is misspelled on the plaque and in your historical information. The Lowry family moved to Rochester, MN from Pennsylvania and William Lowry built the first brick residence in Rochester on the Dubuque Trail. It was sold to Lowry cousins---also from PA, and it became the Brackenridge House. Just before the turn of the Twentieth Century Miss Blanche Brackenridge married Dr. Christopher Graham. After approx. six years of married life, and two kids later the Graham family moved back into her family home to look after her mother. People remember the house today as the Graham House and it
Nearby Central Park Marker image. Click for full size.
April 17, 2022
4. Nearby Central Park Marker
Central Park
Rochester's First Park
Donated by:
William Dundas Lowry
was demolished to build K-mart in 1970. Please do be aware that the Lowry name is misspelled, as there are still Lowry and Graham descendants in this area.

Editor's note: Thank you for the information on the Lowry name spelling. has a general policy of transcribing markers as they read and not making changes to the text, even if they are in error. We show the marker's text as it is currently shown. Hopefully local authorities can be contacted to make the change in a future marker. If that happens we would be happy to note the correction. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted November 21, 2022, by Sean Kettelkamp of Rochester, Minnesota.
Central Park, from the southeast image. Click for full size.
April 17, 2022
5. Central Park, from the southeast
Credits. This page was last revised on December 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 24, 2022. This page has been viewed 68 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 24, 2022.

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Mar. 22, 2023