Friday, August 19, 2016

Calgary Parks; Central Memorial

Central Memorial Park is Calgary's oldest having been designed in 1889 in formal Victorian style. After decades of decline the park was refurbished in 2009 -2010. There is a very informative video on the Calgary Parks website about the history and redevelopment.
Location: Between 12th and 13th Ave. SW and 2nd and 4th St. SW
Amenities: Cafe (which is reopening under a new name), Public Library, Public Washrooms and many unique food trucks on 12th Ave everyday.
Parking: Pay parking only in the area

     It's been years since I've been to this park, when I lived in the area in a younger day this was a shortcut in or out of downtown, except for the historic library building, not much to see. This is a bronze inset that I thought was a nice design until I realized it was a map of the park!

The entrance to the Memorial Public Library built in 1912 in classical style for the Edwardian Era.

On the East side of the park is a commemorative statue to World War I soldiers added in 1924.

     According to the City's website this park came under the direction of William Reader around 1912, he planted many of the trees including the very large poplars on 12th Ave. During the renovation in 2009 some of the very oldest poplars were cut down as they are short lived and prone to falling and some other trees were moved with large calipers like the crab apples now on 13th Ave. The fountains were an original idea but were never installed by Reader as he thought them too expensive. The building you see in the background now stands where the Burns Manor used to, also  before the wars there was a pavilion for live bands at that end of the park to enjoy whilst strolling around the formal gardens.
I was enjoying the two large Burr Oaks which are on either side of the equestrian statue here, I don't think they are one hundred years old unfortunately.

     This equestrian statue commemorates the Boer War, it has been called one of the finest sculptures of it's kind in the world. Here you can see the carefully placed and trimmed spruce, some of these were replanted to conform to the formal elements of the garden. The paths are made from crushed stone to replicate what would have been used more than one hundred years ago.

     On the West side of the park is the World War II Cenotaph which is still used for Remembrance day services. The eternal flame, between the monument and the flag pole was kept alive in lanterns during the renovation and relit when the park reopened in 2010 by a veterans group.

There is a new element added with these water fountains which are apparently popular with children but my dog was not very impressed, surprisingly!

I found this use of Blue Lyme Grass on 13th Ave SW very interesting and eye catching.

Just across the street on 13th Ave SW is this public installation of a metal tree that I found quite wonderful!

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