“25.8 lush & beautiful acres to enjoy”
Lakeside Park exists on land that was purchased from the Fort Wayne Land and Improvement Company in 1908. Until then, Lakeside Park was only a low-lying area prone to flooding and stagnation from the waters of the St. Joseph River. In 1912, it was decided that beautifying the water-retaining depressions would be less expensive and safer for the community than to simply fill them. Reconstruction began on the sunken gardens in August, 2005. All of the hardscape elements (concrete) in the garden area were removed; specifically the retaining walls, stairs, sidewalks and reflecting ponds were replaced. Old postcards of the original structure showed the paths were composed of an orange material – probably crushed clay. So the current sidewalks have brick pavers to simulate more closely the original design."In keeping with historic photos, we rebuilt the pergola to conform to the original design," said Director Al Moll, Parks and Recreation. "Visitors will notice additional improvements, including more lighting for evening visits to the garden and a fabulous bronze fountain on the north retaining wall. The original cement lion’s head fountain did not weather well, and it required reconstruction by Lloyd Cooper and was cast in bronze by Frank Bougher."
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