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Elm Park (Worcester, Massachusetts)

Coordinates: 42°16′3″N 71°49′13″W / 42.26750°N 71.82028°W / 42.26750; -71.82028
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Elm Park
Elm Park (Worcester, Massachusetts) is located in Massachusetts
Elm Park (Worcester, Massachusetts)
Elm Park (Worcester, Massachusetts) is located in the United States
Elm Park (Worcester, Massachusetts)
LocationElm Park, Worcester, Massachusetts
Coordinates42°16′3″N 71°49′13″W / 42.26750°N 71.82028°W / 42.26750; -71.82028
ArchitectLincoln, Edward Winslow
MPSWorcester MRA
NRHP reference No.70000096 [1]
Added to NRHPJuly 01, 1970

Elm Park is an historic park in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The land the park resides on was purchased in 1854, making it one of the first public purchases of land expressly intended for use as a municipal park in the United States,[2] after Bushnell Park in Hartford, purchased earlier that year.[3] (This is not to be confused with the oldest public park, Boston Common, established in 1634.)

Elm Park originally consisted of the land bordered by Park Avenue, Russell Street, Elm Street and Highland Street. In 1888, Newton Hill, just across Park Avenue, was purchased by the City of Worcester bringing the total park area to 60 acres (24 ha).[4] The original portion of Elm Park (east of Park Avenue) was, up until the 1890s, merely more than pasture land. Beginning in 1909, it was redesigned and landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers firm.[5][6][3] The firm landscaped additional elements in 1939–1941.[7]

The park contains meandering walking paths through the landscaping, a pond crossed by two iconic footbridges and a playground. The Newton Hill portion of Elm Park (west of Park Avenue) remains far less landscaped and contains basketball and tennis courts, walking trails and also Doherty Memorial High School, a high school within the Worcester Public Schools system.[4] St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Cathedral (founded around 1920) is located adjacent to the park on Russell Street. Grace Christian Center, formerly Park Congregational Church, is also located across from the park at the corner of Russell and Elm Streets. That church was built in the early 1880s, when the Worcester City Missionary Society recommended that a Congregational church be established on the West Side.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.[1]



See also



  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ City of Worcester, City Parks Archived 2010-09-12 at the Wayback Machine, Parks & Recreation Dept.
  3. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Nicole (July 29, 2013). "Elm Park may be old, but it was not the first park in the U.S." Telegram & Gazette.
  4. ^ a b City of Worcester, Elm Park Archived 2010-07-16 at the Wayback Machine, Parks & Recreation Dept.
  5. ^ City of Worcester, Parks, Division of Economic Development
  6. ^ Massachusetts DCR, Regional Historic Context document PDF, pages 24, 32, 36
  7. ^ Herwitz, Evelyn (May 24, 2012). "Elm Park's Claims to Fame: The Real Story". Trees at Risk. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |url= (help)