Historic Parks

Memorial Park

1620 Riverside Ave.

Water View

There is much available history on this 5.85 acre Park at 160 Riverside Ave. The most famous of Jacksonville parks, there are many important facts and interesting points, some included here.

In 1918, the Jacksonville Rotary Club proposed a memorial to honor Florida’s 1200 fallen heroes (World War I). The Citizens Memorial Committee oversaw the plan for approximately 6 acres of riverfront land to be dedicated in the Riverside neighborhood. Memorial Park includes the famous sculpture Life –  created by Charles Adrian Pillars, an important sculptor in his time (See Wayne Wood’s book “Life”, published Nov/2020, that details the history.)

Local architect Benjamin Greeley, the Olmsted Brothers and sculptor Charles Adrian Pillars were commissioned to create the beautiful Memorial Park (for $52,000), wherein the Memorial sculpture was unveiled on Christmas Day, 1924, leaving behind the great effort (and some discord) involved with its creation. (Photo: W. Woods, Life).

Owned by the City of Jacksonville, this Park fell into disrepair after World War II, but in the 1970’s an effort by the community moved to bring the Park and surrounding area back to its original beauty. In 1986, a restoration project was completed with state and private funds ($120,000). Currently, the Memorial Park Association manages the oversight of the Park and its funds, in coordination with the City. The Park is a popular landmark, and site for community gatherings and events that provides a striking view of the St. Johns River.

Amenities include large lights surrounding the Park, large circling walkway, benches and dog stations. The open green space is used for soccer, bocce, sunbathing, reading, picnics and community gatherings.


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