Sunday, September 11, 2016

Garfield Park...

Life in the big city.. Lots of people. Crowded. Those things come to mind pretty easily especially if you are trying to drive and park a car. There are nice places to find to get away from this and we find them sometimes as we bicycle around the cities we travel to. In Chicago we found Garfield Park and Conservatory. 

I does not take and great leap of reasoning to figure out that the park was named for President James Garfield. Garfield was assassinated in 1881 and after 11 weeks of various sufferings mostly caused by the un-sterile medical techniques of the time he wondered aloud what his place in history would be and died. The park which was originally opened in 1874 was named for him after his passing.  It is the site of the largest greenhouse plant conservatory in the USA. The park which was designed by William LeBaron Jenny, the father of the skyscraper and opened in 1905. 

Seeing the French design influence on the Garfield Park Field House I bet you thought "He's in Paris" but the ADA approved hand rails give us away as the USA. 

The Field house is beautiful inside and is used by the city for parks and recreation type after school programs. 

Inside the plant conservatory. 

Cathy finds the plant of life, the chocolate tree. 

Koi pond. There are also ponds on the park grounds. I will never travel without my pocket fisherman again. 

The desert room. 

A mosaic in 10th century Moroccan style. Don't worry, it's a recreation, not stolen.   

Outside of the conservatory. It underwent a restoration project in 1994 and still follows the original vision of it's designer. 

As for old John Garfield It's a good day to remember him. The most memorable quote of his inauguration speech in what was still an age of Reconstruction addressed his belief that the rights of freedmen were eroded by southern white resistance and illiteracy. Garfield said " Freedom can never yield its fullness of blessings so long as the law or its administration places the smallest obstacle in the pathway of any virtuous citizen."  Garfield had a plan but did not get to carry it out. These issues still make the news today.  

Singer songwriter John Prine thought about the Late John Garfield. Here is one of his tunes. Listen to it and get away from the crowd and go to a park. 




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