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Racine Journal Times Newspaper Archive: November 11, 1956 - Page 40

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Publication: Racine Journal Times

Location: Racine, Wisconsin

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   Racine Journal Times (Newspaper) - November 11, 1956, Racine, Wisconsin                                SPACE PROVIDED FOR RECREATION Hundreds of Acres in Racine's Park System Get a Real Workout in Summer Months Summertime i� when Ra cine's hundreds of acres of parks are given a workout. Racine residents-and often times visitors to the city-merge in droves on Zoo Park, Johnson's, Snoop's, Washington and other parks for an outing Today, Racine's park syitom consists of several large parks, many small parks and picnic areas, several community houses (now run by the recrea tton department), and dozens of playgrounds, a large outdoor swimming pool, a zoological exhibit, three municipal beaches and three municipal golf courses. Yet a century ago, no pro vision for parks was made in the original plat of the cityl It is to a handful of persons and organization! that the city park system owes its existence, expansion and, continued de velopment. East and Went Parks, is they stand today, were the first in the city. They were known as public squares, and were the scene of band concerts, picnics and public gatherings. Board Named In 1902. These parks served ade quately until 1902. At that time, howeyer, two men became aware of the recrea tional needs of a growing pop' ulation. W. H. Kranz, then president of the Racine Business Men's Association, formed a committee tp incorporate the Racine Public Park Aasocia tion, and Mayor; Peter B. Ne] son named the first Park Board. That was the start of the present extensive park system What is now Washington Park is a result Of the work of these groups. KrtM'cdmmittee petitioned the CHy> Council to acquire this hind, Mid later the Erskine property. The Racine Woman's Clyo Jater offered all property it owned east of Mound Cemetery extending to the Root River and the river frontage from Twelfth to Sixth Sts. William Horlick donated most of the island now known as Island and Horlick Park, and William Lev/is made a gift, of the play area known as Lewis Park. The Oittings family donated the land in the rear of Howell School and south of the Washington Park High School. Bath-House in 1908. Somewhere around 1908, townspeople made it evident they wanted a North Beach bathhouse. Unsolicited con tributions swelled funds set up for the purpose by the Elks Club, YMCA and other groups. A benefit matinee at the Bijou Theater was organized, In fact, a miniature bathhouse was erected on Main St. and tickets sold to the matinee. A newspaper headline said, "Mayor and City Officials Take First Dip in the Surf of North Beach." It was dated Aug. 20, 1908. In 1921 and 1930 the properties now known as Shoop and Johnson Parks, named for their donors, doubled the park area. The Zoo was established in 1924. and has grown year by year. Next came the community playgrounds and the Wash ington Park outdoor swim ming pool. The most recent acquisition has been Roosevelt (South Shore) Park. Between Fifth and Sixth Sts., west of Main St. is the most controversial piece of park property in the system, Mon ument Square. Park Board records are filled with the controversies that raged through the years over the property; inunctions, court proceedings, broken contracts, hot tempers and ridicule. Yet it remains the closest approach to a central $1,000 toward * pafNand pur-meeting spot and civic center chase if the City would match the amount. : Individual action brought a unified purpose and eoon park planning got underway. The well-known landscape architect, Jens Jenstm was named to plan the system. A full-time superintendent wm named and' was authorized to pay park' laborers $1.75 a day "when in your judgment they are worth it." Land purchases and gifts continued. The city set aside the city has, and is one of two planned floral settings in Racine. Shouted Down by Protests. Almost annually, someone suggests that the area be made into a parking lot only to be shouted down by protests. Another recent park' controversy 'that was set aside because of opposition was the. suggestion by the recreation commission that the center of West Park be converted into a small children's playground. The entire park system suffered acutely from lack of funds during the pre-war years, and lack of men and materials during the war and post-war years, Today, however, rapid progress is to be aeen In maintenance and new construction. Prime example is the lake-front development which is steadily moving along - with only minor setbacks. Latest addition has been the boat ramp at Fifth St. and development of Pershing Park below Memorial Hall. Like mushrooms after rain, small-tot play areas have developed throughout Racine in the midst of crowded residential neighborhoods, numbering 18, with several others under consideration. Many small parks and triangles are used today for strolling or momentary stopping places between homes and the shopping district . . . many virtually unknown except by the neighborhoods in which they arc located. Certainly they are not used as often as Washington, Shoop and Johnson parks where golfers enjoy the municipal courses from early April to late November, or as frequently as the five popular picnic spots at Johnson Park, Lincoln Park and Pierce Woods. The Racine Park System is managed and governed by a Board of Park Commissioners, composed of five members who are appointed by the mayor. Currently serving on the board are Kenneth H. Anderson,, president; John F. Thompson,] Joseph Domanik, Roy G. Hof fert, and George E, Shoup. Floyd A. Carlson, superintendent of parks, also acta as secretary to the board. Seventy-three parcels of land comprise the system and total 765 acres. The largest of these include: Johnson Park, 279 acres; Washington Park, 93.8 acres; Shoop Park, 63 acres; Colonial Park, 55.8 acres; Cedar Bend, 27.5 acres; North Beach Park, 25.16 acres; Lakefront Park areas,   20   acres;   Roosevelt (South   Shore)   Park,   20.78 acres; Lincoln Park, 30 acres; Sprlngvale, 9.21 acres; Lewis Field, 9.95 acres; Horlick (including former Island Park), 8.9 acres; Pierce Woods, 7.3 acres; Jerome Park, 6 acres; Maple Grove (Harvey) Park, 5.95 acres; Douglas Park, 5.13 [acres; Greencrest, 5.12 acres; and Lake view, 4.5 acres. The more than 750 acres include all playgrounds and recreation areas. By the end of the year, the park system will total more than 800 acres. The City Council is negotiating for 60 acres of land to expand the Johnson Park. The Recreation Commission, established by ordinance in 1951, has a governing body of seven members (one each from the Board of Education, Park Board, and City Council, in addition four private citizens appointed by the mayor) and is headed by B. A. Solbraa, recreation director who also is secretary to the commission. The commission has custody of four community centers, Douglas Park, Lakeview, Ra-iine St. and Washington Park, ind the Washington Park Swimming Pool. It directs recreational programs on grounds maintained by the Park Department and at both public and parochial school grounds and gymnasiums. The parks, the zoo, 3 golf courses, ice-skating rinks, toboggan slide, tennis courts and baseball fields offer Racine residents ample opportunity in their "pursuit of happiness." The Racine Journal-Timer/ Sunday Bulletin BABY NIAGARA - There are times when the water the river on a rampage. The result is the "Baby Niagara", flowing over Horiick's dam seems hardly more than a horseshoe curve and all, which draws sightseers to High-trickle, but then the heavy rains or spring thaws send     way 38 and the Green Bay road site of the old mill dam. A RECORD . . 28 Years a store for the    Thrift-Wi Because we buy with a group of other stores, our purchasing power assures you of the greatest values, the lowest possible price and larger more complete stocks ... because we maintain contact with scouts in the big markets we know when a manufacturer is giving a good price, can take advantage of it for you and run a Bargain Day Sale that is a Bargain Pay. For better than a quarter of a century we have tried to maintain a high quality of merchandise at a budget price . . . always giving to you the fine service you are entitled to . . . and we've enjoyed every minute. Our Policy We are pleased to guarantee that every orticle of merchandise is honestly described in our ads, sign copy and in our selling. If You are not satisfied with any article purchased from us we expect you to return that article and exchange it for onother item or we will refund your money. WE ARE PROUD OF! for forty-five years jhe Allen-Klapp company has served the Racine Journal-Times Company as their National Advertising Representatives. It has been our job to tell the story of Racine's wealthy market and its great Newspaper to the manufacturers and distributors of the country who build their business empire through National Advertising. Our four offices located in New York, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco cover the major advertising centers of the country and tell the story of Racine's growth and prosperity to America's leading business executives and their advertising agencies. THE ALLEN-KLAPP CO. EST^BIISHEO   IN/ 19 0,3 cmcAao KANDOLM '9071 :       NSW york  MURRAY HILL 2-493! DKTROIT TRINITY 5-0m 2 SAN FRANCISCO) i   sum* 10401   

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