#26 McAdams Park – 1329 E 13th St N
Background: According the the city’s website: “Parcels of this park were acquired in 1901, 1941, 1946 and 1980. Formerly referred to as McKinley Park, and renamed in 1966 to honor Emerson McAdams, a former city policeman who served 27 years as director of McKinley Park.”
There are several areas in this large park, including the Rec Center and an open air theater with bench seating, a football field named after Wichita Barry Sanders, Tennis courts dedicated to Charles “Goose” Doughty, Jr., and an area in honor of basketball great Antoine Carr.
What we did: We walked over to the amphitheater, Jeremy tried to get me to sing a song for him. I have a terrible singing voice. As my pastor used to say, “Just make a happy noise,” that’s me. Jeremy has the awesome voice. I did do a monologue from the Audiobook, “Spoken by a mime”
We also visited the tennis courts, the baseball courts, as Jeremy said, “if we only had a basketball.” I said, “if either one of us could play basketball.”
We also checked out the cool swimming pool which I believe is permanently closed thanks to the city. The harsh sun and the cement structure made for some nice pics. Architect Charles McAfee said he designed the pool with Black children in mind, because he said they didn’t know anything about Olympic swimming and swimming lanes.
As we walked through the leaves, I just thought myself… Wichita has some really great parks, and people should get out and enjoy them more.
UPDATE: Back in 2017, the pool was in danger of being closed, but after public outcry and a campaign to keep the pool in the neighborhood, it was added to the city’s plan.
The pool will be renamed the Charles McAfee Pool, in honor of its architect, McAffee designed the pool in 1969, A year later he won an award from the American Institute of Architects for his work.