This article appeared in the City of Dayton Annual Report for 1940
A NEW CITY PARK
GEORGE F. BAKER
Director of Service & Building
IN THE SPRING of 1941 the citizens of Dayton will find a brand new and truly out-standing public park open to them
The writer refers to “Carillon Park,” composed of approximately 35 acres of land located between Patterson Boulevard and the Great Miami River adjacent to Deeds Carillon, and bounded on the south by the old Canal.
Carillon Park is indeed representative of more than just a park. It will be a beautiful and lasting monument to the elimination of a community “eyesore” and menace to public health.
In Carillon Park, the people of Dayton and the Miami Valley will find a benefit that cannot be measured in dollars and cents, yet that will actually cost the city a nominal amount of money.
Through the cooperation of several agencies working together, Carillon Park will soon present to the public a beautiful tract of meadow land adjacent to the Deeds Carillon, a parking place for approximately 1000 cars, and a picnic grove covering almost 20 acres, equipped with over 40 modern fireplaces, toilets, adequate chairs, tables and all such rustic outdoor conveniences. [p. 1]
In order to visualize the part played by the City of Dayton in the development of this outstanding park project, it will be necessary to refer to several community agencies that pooled their plans and resources to a common end.
For many years – really, since the change of the Miami River channel south of Dayton following the Dayton flood of 1913 – the disposal of surface water from the higher levels of Dayton has been over and upon a tract of about thirty-five acres of land which lies immediately west of Patterson Boulevard and north of the old bed of the Miami and Erie Canal. As this water had no outlet to the river after the change of the course of the river, much of the area referred to became swampy and boggy, thereby constituting a menace to health because of the resulting unsanitary conditions.
The directors of the Miami Conservancy District, in line with their perpetual vigilance in the matter of flood protection to the City of Dayton, have lately instructed the engineers to take such steps as are required for removing the large island lying above and below the Broadway Street bridge, since the spring and fall freshets have failed to wash out the island, as had been originally expected.
To provide a place for depositing the material to be removed from the island, consisting of about two hundred thousand yards of gravel, sand, and top soil, the directors accepted from the National Cash Register Company, the owner of the thirty-five acre tract, a deed for this land, the only consideration being that the land should be used forever as a public park for the benefit of all the people; also that the land so deeded should be subject to an easement running to the City of Dayton for the construction and maintenance of a storm water sewer to carry the surface water discharged from the higher levels to the Great Miami River at its present location.
It then became possible, in view of the public character of these improvements, for the City of Dayton to obtain the cooperation of the W.P.A. in the construction of the sewer, and this project is now in progress.
As another major factor in the park development, the Miami Conservancy District enlisted the cooperation of the C.C.C. towards leveling the material removed from the island, also any further assistance needed in respect to making the area suitable for park purposes and uses as contemplated.
Through these Federal agencies, supplemented by the gift of the land, not only will the unsanitary conditions described above be removed and the surface water flow- [p.2] ing from the higher adjacent territory be amply provided for by carrying it through the sewer to the river, but, through the cooperation of the Federal organizations, it will be possible for the park to be completed within a comparatively short time at a very reduced expense to the District and nominal cost to the City. This project also has the approval of the National Park Service.
This new city park should suitably be named “Carillon Park,” since it adjoins the tract upon which Mrs. E. A. Deeds is erecting a carillon as previously announced and now in process of construction. The necessary excavations have been complete, and the pouring of concrete for the foundations is progressing rapidly. The carillon which Mrs. Deeds is erecting will be under the direction of a corporation which has been organized by the Dayton Foundation and, under the terms of the gift, will be for the enjoyment of everyone.
The whole setting, including the area upon which the carillon is erected, will be one of such attractiveness and so well equipped by all kinds of park and recreational facilities as to make it, when finished, one of the outstanding public places of rest, enjoyment, and high-class entertainment in the State of Ohio, if not in the United States.
Our city should be very proud of this project which virtually means a park representing a total cost of over $300,000 for a very nominal city investment. [Photo: View of Carillon Park with completed carillon] [p. 3]