Fort Wayne Places, Allen County, Indiana

Lakeside Park

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1401 Lake Avenue. 23.8 acres, Lakeside Park is bound by California Avenue to the west, Lake Avenue to the south, Forest Park Boulevard to the east, and Vermont Avenue to the north and Lakeside Park South with two recreational fishing ponds bound by Lake Avenue on the north, Crescent Avenue to the west, Edgewater Avenue to the south, and Delta Boulevard to the east. A Legacy Park since 1908 shown in the Facebook post below.

Great news! Our Historic Northeast 2035 plan is making strides! Your invaluable input has guided us smoothly through...

Posted by Fort Wayne Neighborhoods on Monday, March 18, 2024
Monday, March 18, 2024 post by Fort Wayne Neighborhoods on Facebook.

Street View photo on 1464 Vermont Avenue from Google map

1520 Lake Avenue Street View photo on Google map

Lakeside Park posted March 22, 2021 by Friends of the Rivers on YouTube.
As the video shows the statue for Henry Lawton that is in Lakeside Park South instead of Lawton Park.

Lakeside Park and Lakeside Park & Rose Garden at City of Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation. The original part of Lakeside park, acquired from the Fort Wayne Land and Improvement Company in 1908 for $5,000, received a gift of three entire squares and other areas from the Forest Park Company in 1908 and 1912. In the latter year the city purchased an additional area, making the total cost of the ground .$7,800. Improvements to the amount of $17,500 were made in 1912. Copied from page 547 of The pictorial history of Fort Wayne, Indiana : a review of two centuries of occupation of the region about the head of the Maumee River by Griswold, B. J. (Bert Joseph), 1873-1927; Taylor, Samuel R., Mrs, Publication date 1917 on

Lakeside Park - The uncredited 1912 master plan for Lakeside Park is likely the work of George Kessler, who designed the Park and Boulevard Plan for Fort Wayne the same year. Land for this 23.8 acre landscape was purchased in 1908, with excavation for lagoons beginning in 1911, a refectory pavilion constructed in 1916, an Italianate sunken garden and pergola built in 1925, and tennis courts installed in 1928.

The most classical element in this otherwise picturesque landscape is the sunken garden. Designed in 1921 by Superintendent of Parks Adolphe Jaenicke, the garden contained over 1000 plants and was named a National Rose Garden in 1928. Its strict geometry is a natural fit with its context, bracketed on three sides by city streets and private residences. Throughout the park walks connect to the nearby street grid. Historic photographs reveal ornate furniture and flowerbeds. Four lagoons, both natural and excavated, are featured in the original plans, along with serpentine paths, a curvilinear drive, and bridges leading to islands in the lagoons.

Today, a sculpture honoring Fort Wayne’s Civil War hero Henry Lawton is located in the park. The rose garden has recently been renovated. Three lagoons still exist, with one filled to create a baseball field. Copied from The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

July 27, 2018 post by Above the Forton Facebook:

Lakeside Park is one of the most beautiful! Thanks to Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation and The City of Fort Wayne for keeping this park gorgeous and maintained!

Lakeside Park

By Randy Harter, 2018-11-05. at Fort Wayne Reader

In 1890 the Fort Wayne Land Improvement Company held a contest for the naming of a new housing subdivision they were preparing to develop east of the Columbia Street Bridge. Mrs. Lillian Pierce won the $25.00 prize and thus the subdivision and later adjoining park became known as Lakeside.

That same year, the marshy low-lying areas that are now Delta Lakes were dredged out to supply the dirt to build up the riverbanks along the future St. Joe Boulevard and Edgewater Avenue. These lakes were later deepened again for the same reason. In 1908 another developer, The Forest Park Company, started laying out the Forest Park Addition just north of Lakeside Park. With gifts of land from each of the two developers, and the purchase by the city of one small section, today’s Lakeside Park was born.

The streets in the Lakeside addition were soon graveled and the street car line run across the Columbia Street Bridge to Delta Lakes by the end of 1892. The Lakeside School at Oneida and Tecumseh was then completed in 1896. The main Delta Lake became a popular swimming hole for folks from all over town with diving boards, a diving tower, and changing rooms. Four cents would get you a trolley ride from anywhere in the city to Lakeside Park. In 1902 a separate ladies bathing area was added. In the winter the lake became a popular spot for ice skating and curling competitions.

By 1912, the plans for the park that had been drawn by Henry Doswell (landscape architect for Lindenwood Cemetery) had been implemented. These included planting 400 trees, extensive floral gardens, islands in the lake connected by rustic bridges and landscaped paths. In 1917, Adolph Jaenicke designed the sunken gardens, Greek pergolas and rose gardens which were completed about 1920.

Today large areas of the park look much different than they did in the early 1900’s as the main park area north of Lake Avenue included a series of islands and lagoons stretching nearly to California Avenue. During the Mayor Hosey Administration in 1917, a large two-story pavilion was built on the center of the western three islands.

In 1926 under a joint venture with the Izaak Walton League, City Council appropriated $5,000 for construction of a fish hatchery to be contained within the park’s lagoons. In 1930 this resulted in over 110,000 bluegill and largemouth bass being raised and distributed to more than 40 northern Indiana lakes and rivers. Also in that year a concession stand was built along Lake Avenue, which in the winters became a skating hut.

The onset of the Depression closed the fish hatchery in 1931. With the lagoons being a safety hazard and mosquito breeding ground they were finally filled in in 1958, and in 1964 the deteriorated 1917 pavilion was set afire and burned down by the fire department for firefighting practice.  

This article was also discussed November 6, 2018 on You are positively from Fort Wayne, if you remember... Archived group only visible to existing members on Facebook.

Little Library

Lakeside Park Little Free Library in a tree stump near California and Vermont Avenues shown in Street View photo from Google Maps discussed in Lakeside Park by City of Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation.

Lakeside Park Little Free Library in a tree stump

There’s something for everyone at the Lakeside Park Little Library! What a great use for the leftovers of the tree that...

Posted by Northside Neighborhood Association on Tuesday, February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024 post by Northside Neighborhood Association on Facebook:

There’s something for everyone at the Lakeside Park Little Library! What a great use for the leftovers of the tree that was blown over. And a perfect day to enjoy it— just ask this adorable little neighbor! #lakesidepark #littleneighbor #littlelibrary #reuse #fallentree #readabook

Similar photos posted June 1, 2021 on IN Nature on Facebook.

Rose Garden

June 21, 2023 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook:

It's #waybackwednesday. Take a look at these then and now photos of Lakeside Park's rose garden in Fort Wayne, courtesy of the Daniel A. Baker Collection in our Community Album. Do you have a favorite memory of Lakeside Park?

Explore these pictures and many more in our Community Album:

Happy National Gardening Day! 🌹Gardens can serve many purposes, from beauty to vegetation, but they always provide ways...

Posted by Indiana Historical Society on Sunday, April 14, 2024

Sunday, April 14, 2024 post by the Indiana Historical Society on Facebook:

Happy National Gardening Day! 🌹 Gardens can serve many purposes, from beauty to vegetation, but they always provide ways for things to grow. What’s your favorite plant to have in your garden? To celebrate, pictured here is the “Rose Garden” in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1963. The “Rose Garden” was located at Lakeside Park and was a sunken design!

The first rose bloom of the season is in full color at Lakeside Park. It's unfiltered beauty!

Posted by Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Saturday, June 1, 2024

Saturday, June 1, 2024 video post by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation on Facebook:

The first rose bloom of the season is in full color at Lakeside Park. It's unfiltered beauty!

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