|Grant Park Pond|
I arrived at Grant Park, at the designated meeting space, in plenty of time to start snapping photos. Just prior to our 6:00 p.m. start time, I noticed a lady with a blue notebook standing on her own and assumed she was to be our tour guide. She was.
I went over and introduced myself. Carol introduced herself and we chatted about Grant Park and tourATLANTA until the other tour-takers arrived.
Carol, to my benefit as well as the other tour participants that day, is one of the founding members of the Grant Park Conservancy and she's lived in Grant Park for a number of years…we not only had a tour guide who knows the Park, she has a vested interest in knowing everything there is to know about Grant Park.
The other tour participants arrived, a modest group compared to the 30-something member group Carol had the day before, but I think we were the real troopers showing up for a tour on a Monday night.
There was a married couple, a young British lady visiting for the weekend and another you lady who happened to be a docent at the Fox Theatre, as well as Carol and me. The group ended up being more conversational than some other tours I’ve been on, which was a great chance of pace.
Gathered and acquainted, the tour began.
First, the clearing up of a common misconception…Grant Park is actually named for Lemuel P. Grant, a successful engineer and businessman who donated 100 acres for the creation of a public park in 1883. Later another 40 acres were allocated, but due to residential and road expansion, the size today is 131.5 acres.
The oldest public park in Atlanta, Grant Park is also the largest park in the city. The next three largest are Chastain Park, Freedom Park, and Piedmont Park.
Grant Park, established in 1882, Grant Park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers, sons of the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead who designed Central Park in New York City. The Olmstead Brothers also created the redesign of Piedmont Park in the early 20th Century.
Before we set off on foot, Carol pointed out the only surviving historic statue in Grant Park, that of Thomas Wilson Talbot. The inscription on the statue reads:
"Erected by the membership of the International Association of Machinists, May 5, 1948, to the memory of its founder Thomas Wilson Talbot, 1949-1892, through whose efforts came light out of darkness and hope out of despair. And that generations to come might extol his greatness, this monument is solemnly dedicated to free men everywhere who toil for a livelihood."The other statues that used to be in Grant Park have been moved or mysteriously disappeared…some might have been traceable, but relocation records were not kept.
|Touring Grant Park|