Thornden Park

Last updated
Thornden Park
Stylized map of Thornden Park
USA New York location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
LocationRoughly bounded by Ostrom Ave.
Madison St.
Beech St.
Bristol Pl.
Greenwood Pl.
Clarendon St.
Syracuse, NY
Coordinates 43°2′29″N76°7′35″W / 43.04139°N 76.12639°W / 43.04139; -76.12639 Coordinates: 43°2′29″N76°7′35″W / 43.04139°N 76.12639°W / 43.04139; -76.12639
Area76 acres (31 ha)
ArchitectWilliam Harradance; et al.
MPS Historic Designed Landscapes of Syracuse MPS
NRHP reference # 94001490 [1]
Added to NRHPDecember 29, 1994

Thornden Park is a 76-acre (31 ha) park in Syracuse, New York, United States, which is the second largest in the city after Burnet Park. It was purchased by the city in 1921 and has become a favorite wedding location in the Syracuse park system. [2] It is located in Westcott, and borders the University and University Hill neighborhoods. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994 [1] as part of the Historic Designated Landscapes of Syracuse, New York. [3]

Syracuse, New York City in Central New York

Syracuse is a city in and the county seat of Onondaga County, New York, United States. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state of New York following New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Yonkers.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Burnet Park

Burnet Park is the largest park in Syracuse, New York, USA, covering an area of 88 acres (36 ha). It is located on the west end of the city, in the Far Westside in a neighborhood called Tipperary Hill.



Thornden Park began as a farm owned by Zebulon Ostrom, who sold it to a wealthy salt miner James P. Haskins around 1850. In 1921 the city purchased the land as part of the nationwide City Beautiful movement and added recreational features such as the ballfields and swimming pool. [3] During the 1960s, budget cuts threatened the cleanliness of the park; these were countered by neighborhood initiatives. The 1970s brought Dutch elm disease, which killed approximately 600 elm trees in the park. Maple trees were planted as replacements. The Thornden Park Association was founded in 1983 to advocate for, restore and revitalize the park.

City Beautiful movement North American architectural movement

The City Beautiful Movement was a reform philosophy of North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of introducing beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. The movement, which was originally associated mainly with Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Washington, D.C., promoted beauty not only for its own sake, but also to create moral and civic virtue among urban populations. Advocates of the philosophy believed that such beautification could promote a harmonious social order that would increase the quality of life, while critics would complain that the movement was overly concerned with aesthetics at the expense of social reform; Jane Jacobs referred to the movement as an "architectural design cult."

Dutch elm disease plant disease caused by Ophiostoma ulmi fungus

Dutch elm disease (DED) is caused by a member of the sac fungi (Ascomycota) affecting elm trees, and is spread by elm bark beetles. Although believed to be originally native to Asia, the disease was accidentally introduced into America and Europe, where it has devastated native populations of elms that did not have resistance to the disease. It has also reached New Zealand. The name "Dutch elm disease" refers to its identification in 1921 and later in the Netherlands by Dutch phytopathologists Bea Schwarz and Christine Buisman who both worked with Professor Johanna Westerdijk. The disease affects species in the genera Ulmus and Zelkova, therefore it is not specific to the Dutch elm hybrid.

Elm genus of plants

Elms are deciduous and semi-deciduous trees comprising the flowering plant genus Ulmus in the plant family Ulmaceae. The genus first appeared in the Miocene geological period about 20 million years ago, originating in what is now central Asia. These trees flourished and spread over most of the Northern Hemisphere, inhabiting the temperate and tropical-montane regions of North America and Eurasia, presently ranging southward across the Equator into Indonesia.

Rose Garden in June. Mills Rose Garden-1.jpg
Rose Garden in June.

Mills Rose Garden

One of the more popular attractions in the park is the E. M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden, dedicated in 1924 on 2 acres (8,100 m2) at the southwest entrance to the park, across Ostrom Avenue from Syracuse University. Since 1970, the Syracuse Rose Society has maintained the garden in cooperation with the City of Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs. [4] Currently, the garden hosts 368 different varieties of roses (3850 plants in all) that surround a central gazebo. [5]

Thornden Park amphitheater Thornden-Park-ampitheater-2016-07.jpg
Thornden Park amphitheater


Originally named Sylvn Theatre, Thornden Park's amphitheater was built in 1933 under the Roosevelt era WPA Project (Works Project Administration). The opening day ceremony in 1933 was rained out but the subsequent opening was attended by 10,000 people. It is built to seat 6,000 people in its concentric rings and open lawn in the middle of the amphitheater. The Syracuse Opera puts on a free show the first Sunday in August each year.[ citation needed ] Since 2003, the Syracuse Shakespeare Festival has presented its free, Shakespeare-in-the-Park program, currently the first two weekends of June.[ citation needed ]


Public swimming pool Thornden-Park-pool-2016-07.jpg
Public swimming pool
Lily Pond in June Thornden Park Lily Pond-1.jpg
Lily Pond in June


(Depictions of the history and selected features of Thornden Park, on the exterior of the pool building.)

Related Research Articles

Zilker Park Historic urban park in Austin, Texas

Zilker Metropolitan Park is a recreational area in south Austin, Texas at the juncture of Barton Creek and the Colorado River that comprises over 350 acres (142 ha) of publicly owned land. It is named after its benefactor, Andrew Jackson Zilker, who donated the land to the city in 1917. The land was developed into a park during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Today the park serves as a hub for many recreational activities and the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake, both of which run next to the park. The large size of the park makes it a capable venue for large-scale events such as the Austin City Limits Music Festival and the Zilker Park Kite Festival. The park was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on 1997.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden botanical garden in Brooklyn, New York City

Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is a botanical garden in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City. Founded in 1910 and located in Mount Prospect Park, next to Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum, the 52-acre (21 ha) garden includes a number of specialty "gardens within the Garden", plant collections and the Steinhardt Conservatory, which houses the C. V. Starr Bonsai Museum, three climate-themed plant pavilions, a white cast-iron and glass aquatic plant house, and an art gallery. The Garden holds over 14,000 taxa of plants and each year has over 900,000 visitors.

East Rock of south-central Connecticut, United States, with a high point of 366 feet (112 m), is a 1.4-mile (2 km) long trap rock ridge located primarily in the neighborhood of East Rock on the north side of the city of New Haven. A prominent landscape feature and a popular outdoor recreation area with cliffs that rise 300 feet (91 m) over the city below, East Rock is part of the narrow, linear Metacomet Ridge that extends from Long Island Sound near New Haven, north through the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts to the Vermont border. East Rock is the central feature of East Rock Park, a municipal park owned by the city of New Haven along the New Haven-Hamden town line.

Westcott, Syracuse, New York human settlement in Syracuse, New York, United States of America

Westcott is a neighborhood in Syracuse, New York, United States. Its proximity to Syracuse University makes for a diverse community, home to Syracuse University students, professors and other faculty and staff, as well as residents at all income levels. Westcott Street is the main retail street of the neighborhood, featuring numerous restaurants, coffee shops, stores and The Westcott Theater performing arts venue. It is the site of the annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair, a one-day celebration of the diversity and uniqueness of the neighborhood with food, art, live performances and cultural activities. Westcott is also home to Thornden Park, one of the largest parks in Syracuse. The Westcott neighborhood is the boyhood home of renowned banjoist Tony Trischka.

Ladds Addition historic district in Portland, Oregon, USA

Ladd's Addition is an inner southeast historic district of Portland, Oregon, United States. It is Portland's oldest planned residential development, and one of the oldest in the western United States. The district is known in Portland for a diagonal street pattern, which is at odds with the rectilinear grid of the surrounding area. Roughly eight blocks (east-west) by ten blocks (north-south) in size, Ladd's is bordered by SE Hawthorne, Division, 12th, and 20th streets. It is part of the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood association.

The Gardens at Elm Bank, home of Massachusetts Horticultural Society, occupies 36 acres (15 ha) of Elm Bank Reservation, a 175-acre (71 ha) recreational area of woodlands, fields, and former estate property on the Charles River managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The estate's entrance is located at 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States, with the major portion of the grounds located in the neighboring town of Dover. In 1987, the entire site was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Elm Bank.

The Northside is a neighborhood in the city of Syracuse, New York (USA) consisting of a residential area bordered by commercial corridors. As defined by Syracuse's "Tomorrow's Neighborhoods Today" planning system, the Northside is a large section of the city of Syracuse, covering almost four square miles. There are 16 census tracts, within which are 36 census block groups. It includes many sub-regions that have developed their own unique identities, such as the Near Northeast neighborhood, the Little Italy District, and the Hawley–Green Historic District. The neighborhood labeled as Northside on the Syracuse map is known locally as the Court-Woodlawn neighborhood.

San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden

The San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden, or Sunken Gardens in Brackenridge Park, San Antonio, Texas, USA opened in an abandoned limestone rock quarry in the early 20th century. It was known also as Chinese Tea Gardens, Chinese Tea Garden Gate, Chinese Sunken Garden Gate and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

Washington Park, Denver human settlement in Denver, Colorado, United States of America

Washington Park is a neighborhood and public urban park in Denver, Colorado. The Washington Park located in Denver, Colorado, United States is a blend of historic and contemporary styles of architecture. Its historic buildings, lakes, tennis courts, lawns, large flower gardens, and recreation center provide various experiences for visitors. The park was first developed by Architect Reinhard Scheutze in 1899. Its design was influenced by city planner Kessler, the Olmsted Brothers and the famous philanthropist “The Unsinkable” Molly Brown. The park is very popular both as a tourist destination and among Denver locals, with some comparing it to New York City's Central Park. Apart from activities like jogging, walking or biking, the park serves as a center for social activities and encourages community involvement. Due to its welcoming appearance and unique characteristics, the Washington Park was designated as one of the “Great Public Spaces in America” by the American Planning Association in the year 2012.

City Park, Denver human settlement in Denver, Colorado, United States of America

City Park is an urban park and neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. The park is 330 acres (130 ha) and is located in east-central Denver. The park contains the Denver Zoo, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Ferril and Duck Lakes, and a boathouse. City Park is also the name of the neighborhood that contains the park, though the park is the vast majority of the neighborhood. To the immediate north of the park is the City Park Golf Course. City Park is the largest, while Washington Park is the most notable park in Denver.

Fort Worth Botanic Garden

The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is a botanical garden located at 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, Texas. The garden was established in 1934 and is the oldest botanic garden in Texas, with 2,501 species of native and exotic plants in its 21 specialty gardens. It is open daily. An admission fee is charged for the Conservatory and Japanese Garden; the other gardens are free.

Recreation in Huntington, West Virginia

Huntington is home to eleven parks located in the neighborhoods of Huntington. An amusement park is also adjacent to the city.

East Rock Park

East Rock Park is a park in the city of New Haven and the town of Hamden, Connecticut that is operated as a New Haven city park. The park surrounds and includes the mountainous ridge named East Rock and was developed with naturalistic landscaping. The entire 427-acre (173 ha) park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Onondaga Park park on the south side of Syracuse

Onondaga Park is a 82.6-acre (33.4 ha) park in the city of Syracuse, New York. Man-made Hiawatha Lake is located within the park, which is situated in Syracuse's Strathmore neighborhood on the city's south side.

Cazenovia Park–South Park System

Cazenovia Park–South Park System is a historic park system located in the South Buffalo neighborhood at Buffalo in Erie County, New York. The interconnected set of parkways and parks was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as part of his parks plan for the city of Buffalo.

Stony Brook Reservation

Stony Brook Reservation is a woodland park in Boston and Dedham, Massachusetts, a unit of the Metropolitan Park System of Greater Boston, part of the state park system of Massachusetts. It was established in 1894 as one of the five original reservations created by the Metropolitan Park Commission. The park is served by the Stony Brook Reservation Parkways, a road system that was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

Patton Park is a 93-acre (38 ha) park located on the southwest side of Detroit, Michigan. The park, named for the World War II US military leader General George S. Patton, was dedicated in the early 1950s. Local landowner Jacques Baby bequeathed the 93-acre (38 ha) tract of land to the City of Detroit for a park. The park retains a restrictive covenant that prohibits the City from tampering with the park, lest the park return to Baby's descendants.

Sylvan Theater Historic District open-air theater in Des Moines, Iowa

The Sylvan Theater Historic District, also known as Greenwood Park Outdoor Theater, is located in Des Moines, Iowa, United States. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1995.

Scottholm, Syracuse

Scottholm is an historic housing development in the Meadowbrook neighborhood of Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York. It has been registered as a National Historic District. It is bounded by Salt Springs Road on the north; Brookford Road and East Avenue on the east; Meadowbrook Drive on the south; and Scottholm Terrace on the west. Scottholm consists of single‐family homes of varying styles built in the early 20th century. When it was built, Scottholm was marketed to upper middle class and upper class residents. Today, the area attracts a diverse population of white collar, academic, and creative class professionals. Nottingham High School, in the Syracuse City School District, is nearby.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is an independent park district that owns, maintains, and programs activities in public parks in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It has 500 full-time and 1,300 part-time employees and an $111 million operating and capital budget.


  1. 1 2 National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service.
  2. "Thornden Park". Syracuse Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs. 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-07.
  3. 1 2 Dudley C. Breed, Jr.; Marc J. Morfei; Christine B. Lozner & Peter V. Auyer (July 1994). "National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation: The Historic Designed Landscapes of Syracuse, New York" (pdf (version 1.4)). National Park Service: 54. This document uses the 2000 version of the PDF format (1.4) that is incompatible with some web browsers.
  4. "Thornden Park," City of Syracuse website. Accessed: 2 July 2018.
  5. "Visit the Mills Rose Garden". Syracuse Rose Society. Archived from the original on 2014-03-31.