#124 College Hill Park – 304 Circle Drive
Background: From the City: “This park, acquired in 1925, consists of grass-covered and landscaped rolling topography. Concrete walks cross the park in convenient locations.” Seriously, one of the most historic parks in town, and that’s it?
So here’s what I found out…In the 1880’s mule-drawn street trolleys moved people up and down Douglas. The original landowners, George Merriman owned the land where the park is today and M.R. Moser owned the College Hill Addition. Moser envisioned building a college in the center of “College Park” on Douglas Avenue, that’s near Clifton Square these days. The plans changed over the years and the park served as the Wichita Country Club from 1901–1912.
During the Great Depression, it was redeveloped into its current park configuration, using WPA funds. Part of that funding included the Spanish Colonial Revival bathhouse near the pool. It was constructed in 1937, it’s an example of how the city’s parks department developed and provided work during the depression. The murals were done by local artist Terry Corbett. He told me “it was exciting to do that park, because I grew up in College Hill, and use to swim there.”
What we did: Another great day in Kansas. Sunny with a light breeze. There were a lot of people in the park, we even spotted a couple having a picnic. We walked around the park and I pointed out the places that my friends and I would drink in the park. I think I have more memories of the after dark hours than day hours. The pool is not quite ready for the summer, but there were plenty of kids in the park.