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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Overton Park

 
 
Overton Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 20, 2014
1. Overton Park Marker
Inscription. The 342 acre Lea Woods was bought in 1901 as the first project of Memphis Park Commission on advice of Olmsted Brothers, noted landscape and architects. By popular vote it was named for Judge John Overton, a city founder. Naturalistic landscaping was by George Kessler, landscape architect. Soon added were the zoo, 1905; the first city golf course, 1911; Brooks Art Gallery, 1916. The park with its unique 175 acres of climax oak-hickory urban forest was preserved as a unit by the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark decision, 1971. Placed in National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior 1979.
 
Erected 1981 by Citizens to Preserve Overton Park and the Memphis Park Commission.
 
Location. 35° 8.814′ N, 89° 58.932′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on East Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Memphis TN 38112, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); Rhodes College (approx. 0.7 miles away); Memphis Belle (approx. 0.7 miles away); The Overton Park Shell/The Levitt Shell At Overton Park
Overton Park Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, April 20, 2014
2. Overton Park Marker
(approx. ¾ mile away); Tennessee Williams Play (approx. 0.8 miles away); William Neely Mallory (approx. 0.8 miles away); Southwestern Alumni World War II Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Fargason Fields (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Also see . . .
1. Landscape of the American Renaissance: The Life and Work of George Edward Kessler by Kurt Culbertson. Unpublished biography of the designer of Overton Park (Submitted on June 24, 2015, by Steve Masler of Memphis, Tennessee.) 

2. Park History. The Overton Park Conservancy provides a history of the park: On November 14, 1901, the City of Memphis purchased a 342-acre tract of land from Nashville residents Ella and Overton Lea (for $110,000) and “Lea’s Woods” became Overton Park. The park was designed by landscape architect George Kessler as part of a comprehensive plan that also included Martin Luther King-Riverside Park and the Memphis Parkway System. The park was officially named after John Overton, a co-founder of Memphis, on July 25, 1902.... In the late 1950s Overton Park became the subject of controversy when 26 of its 342 acres were condemned by the State of Tennessee for a planned right-of-way for
<i>Elephant House at the Zoo, Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1924
3. Elephant House at the Zoo, Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn.
Interstate 40. Residents of Midtown Memphis formed an advocacy group called Citizens to Preserve Overton Park and challenged the plan in court. In 1971, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in CPOP’s favor in the landmark case Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe. The 26 acres were finally deeded back to the City of Memphis in 1987....
(Submitted on September 1, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Charity & Public WorkLandmarks
 
<i>Rainbow Lake in Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1925
4. Rainbow Lake in Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn.
<i>Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn.</i> image. Click for full size.
circa 1930
5. Brooks Memorial Art Gallery, Overton Park, Memphis, Tenn.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 25, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 368 times since then and 43 times this year. Last updated on May 3, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 25, 2014, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234.   3, 4, 5. submitted on September 1, 2015. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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