Battery Park is a 25-acre public park located at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. The area has been known as The Battery since the 17th century. The area was so-named because of artillery batteries that were positioned there in the city’s early years to protect the settlement.
The 9.6-acre Bryant Park is unique in that it is part of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation but privately managed. Located adjacent to the New York City Public Library, the history of the park dates to 1686, when Thomas Dongan, New York’s colonial governor, designated the area a public space. George Washington’s troops crossed the area while retreating from the Battle of Long Island in 1776, and in 1823, the site was designated a potter’s field (bodies were moved to Wards Island in 1840). The first park at this site, Reservoir Square, opened in 1847. The park was renamed in honor of New York Evening Post editor and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant in 1884.
The 21-acre park, today a centerpiece of downtown Atlanta’s tourist district, was built as a central green space and remains a popular place for outdoor events. The park, which helped positively transform downtown Atlanta, is surrounded by some of the city’s biggest tourist destinations, including the Georgia Aquarium and CNN Center.
Located about two miles from Downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Centennial Park is perhaps best known for its Parthenon replica. The 132-acre park originally opened in 1903 where the Tennessee Centennial Exposition was held in 1897. The Parthenon replica was built for the Nashville pavilion of the Centennial Exposition, but since it was largely out of plaster and as a temporary exhibit building, the structure was rebuilt in the 1920s. Prior to Centennial Park, the area was a fairgrounds after the Civil War and the home of a race track known as West Side Park from 1884 to 1895.
Central Park might be the most famous urban park in the world. City officials established the park in 1857 on 778 acres of city-owned land. The park was expanded to its current size of 843 acres in 1873. More than 40 million people visit the park every year. The U.S. Department of the Interior designated the park a National Historic Landmark in 1962.
To take advantage of its best asset, the city built a mile-long walkway along the Cumberland River. The walkway provides visitors with nice views of the traffic traversing the river and offers a nice respite from the city’s usually congested streets. The river is also the backdrop for many events, including an annual music festival and also the home to the Christmas on the Cumberland celebration.
Dealey Plaza is today synonymous with the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However, the history of the plaza dates to 1935 when it was dedicated. Named for longtime Dallas Morning News publisher George Bannerman Dealey, the plaza was completed in 1940. Construction of the 15-acre plaza was made possible after the Trinity River was rerouted to prevent flooding in the area. Home to some of the first settlements, Dealey Plaza is sometimes known as the “birthplace of Dallas.”
Confederate troops in November 1861 built defenses overlooking the Cumberland and Red rivers. Following a major battle at Fort Donelson in nearby Dover, Confederate troops abandoned Clarksville; Union troops later found the abandoned fort and reworked it for their needs. In 2011, the city opened a $2 million interpretive center to tell the story of Fort Defiance. In addition to a movie in the center, visitors can see remarkable well preserved earthworks at the site and take in a newly installed Confederate money exhibit.
Fort Nashborough is a recreation of a stockade established in early 1779 in the French Lick area of the Cumberland River valley. The stockade was a forerunner to a settlement that would become Nashville, Tennessee. The square-shaped log stockade covered 2 acres and contained 20 log cabins. The reconstructed fortification, which stands near the original location, is maintained by Nashville Parks and Recreation.
The four-acre Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park is located and named in honor of the Four Freedoms President Franklin D. Roosevelt highlighted in his Jan. 6, 1941, State of the Union address. The park is located next to the historic Smallpox Hospital in New York City at the southernmost point of Roosevelt Island. Architect Louis Kahn designed the park. The park was designed in the early 1970s and completed in 2012.
Freedom Plaza, located adjacent to the N.J. Transit Metuchen train station, is dedicated to those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001. Its walls list the names of the more than 700 New Jersey residents, including 13 from Edison and Metuchen, who died in the terrorist attacks.
The 445-acre Hermann Park is one of the most visited public areas in all of Houston. The park sits in the middle of Texas Medical Center, Rice University and the Museum District. The park is named for George H. Hermann, who gave the land to the city in 1914.
The 189-acre Piedmont Park hosted the Piedmont Exposition of 1887 and the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895. Much like Central Park is to New York City, Piedmont Park is a centerpiece greenspace for the city of Atlanta.
Created in 1994, Pioneer Plaza is the largest public open space in the Dallas central business district. The park is home to the Cattle Drive Through Dallas sculpture. The giant bronze sculpture commemorates (as its name suggests) a cattle drive through the city.
Confederate Brigadier Gen. Francis Shoup in 1864 built a series of earthen forts shaped like arrowheads large enough to hold 80 soldiers and allow them to fire shots to the right, left and straight ahead as the enemy approached. The design came to be known as “Shoupades.” The goal was to stop Union troops from crossing the Chattahoochee River and entering Atlanta. While most of the Shoupades were destroyed over the years, the city of Smyrna, through an agreement with a developer, helped preserve one of the works.
The High Line opened in 2009. The now-popular park was built atop a former elevated New York Central Railroad spur known as the West Side Line. The High Line today features nearly 1.5 miles of elevated trails and provides roughly 5 million people annually a unique view of New York City. The path runs Gansevoort Street, located three blocks south of 14th Street in the Meatpacking District, through Chelsea to the northern edge of the West Side Yard on 34th Street near the Javits Convention Center.