Military Park (Newark)
Military Park Commons Historic District
Wars of America statue
|Location||Newark, New Jersey|
|Architect||Ely, Wilson and John; Guilbert and Betelle|
|Architectural style||Renaissance, Italianate|
|NRHP reference #||04000649|
|Added to NRHP||June 18, 2004|
Military Park is a 6-acre (24,000 m2) city park in Downtown Newark, Essex County, New Jersey, United States. Along with Lincoln Park and Washington Park, it makes up the three downtown parks in Newark that were laid out in the colonial era. It is a nearly triangular park located between Park Place, Rector Street and Broad Street.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Military Park Building and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Robert Treat Center are located across Park Place from the park. A $3.25 million renovation led by Dan Biederman was announced in February 2012. The reconstruction was expected to be completed in late 2013, but due to harsh weather was postponed until spring 2014. A casual restaurant, Burg, does business in the park. The park reopened in June 2014.
The park was originally laid out by Robert Treat at the founding of Newark as a training ground for soldiers. It saw periodic military use throughout its history; it served as a training ground during the French and Indian War, a campground for the American army in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. At the end of the American Revolution it was designated as a public park.
There was a period of time in the mid-20th century where the park fell into disrepair. The grounds were considered unsafe and therefore unsuitable for the general population's usage. Military Park fell into a state of disrepair until conservation efforts began in 2003 and ground was broken in 2013. The new park grounds boasts a more open and inviting atmosphere for passersby as well as a revitalized location in downtown Newark.
The sculpture itself forms the base of a large concrete sword built into the ground. The sword from the ground resembles a large dry fountain and from the air its shape is easily distinguished. The sword is about eighty yards long from the end of the statue to its tip; the blade is over ten feet across at its base. A bust of John F. Kennedy by Jacques Lipchitz was erected in 1965. The park also has an old drinking fountain with the phrase "My cup runneth over" carved around its base, and statues of Frederick Frelinghuysen and Philip Kearny.
Doane Park is a tenth-acre triangular piece of land north of Military Park, where Broad Street and Park Place veer off and is separated from Military Park by Rector Street. A statue of Monsignor George Hobart Doane, for whom the park is named, was unveiled in 1908. Doane was a rector at St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral and did much for the city including his work with the Essex County Park Commission.
- Afro Beat Fest is a new annual festival in Downtown Newark of African and African diaspora culture including music, art, fashion, dance, crafts and cuisine. The inaugural Afro Beat Fest was held in the recently refurbished Military Park in July 2017. Afro Beat Fest is a reboot of an older festival that had begun in the 1980s called "Africa Newark," which had ended in 2006 after it lost city support. Mayor Ras Baraka said he and colleagues recalled the festival warmly from childhood and noted that the city worked with local organizers to revive it.
- Jazz concerts are sometimes performed in Military Park.
- On Thursdays during the fall, a farmers market is held on Park Place.
- National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Read, Philip (November 2, 2010). "Organizer who transformed New York's Bryant Park to remake Newark's Military Park". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
- Foderard, Lisa. "Revival Is Planned for a Derelict Downtown Newark Park". The New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2013.
- "Construction under way for Newark's new Military Park". NJ.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "Newark's Historic Military Park Undergoing a Revival Benefiting Surrounding Businesses and College Students - Rutgers University - Newark". www.newark.Rutgers.edu. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "As Military Park reopens, developers talk challenges and changes". NJ.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "Historic Newark park to ink deal for a restaurant". NJ.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "Military Park opens with music, politicians' praise". NJ.com. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "History of the Park". Military Park. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- Dowdell, Kimberly (July 23, 2014). "Military Park: A Catalyst for Newark's Renaissance". Legacy Cities Initiative.
- "Historical Landmarks". City of Newark, New Jersey. Archived from the original on June 21, 2010. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
- "BURG finally opens in Newark's Military Park". NJ.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- "Burg". www.burgnj.com. Retrieved 2018-05-04.
- Doane Park, accessed on November 2, 2007.
Media related to Military Park, Newark, New Jersey at Wikimedia Commons