Niagara Gazette

Opinion

January 30, 2013

BRADBERRY: Happy birthday FDR, athletic field

Niagara Gazette — According to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum website (www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu), Jan. 30, 1882, dawned cold and white at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York. By 8 p.m. that night, Sara Delano Roosevelt had been in labor for more than 24 hours.

Forty-five minutes later, she delivered a 10-pound boy who was blue and not moving. The doctor blew air into his lungs, and the newborn began to cry.

Fifty-four years later as president of the United States, FDR stood here in Niagara Falls to dedicate what was originally known as Hyde Park Stadium, a Works Progress Administration project which now includes a beautiful golf course, bocce lawn bowling, tennis courts, Sal Maglie Stadium, trout stocked Hyde Park Lake, awesome picnic pavilions, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a newly remodeled Ice Pavilion and a peaceful Rose Garden.

The athletic field at Hyde Park that FDR came here to Niagara Falls to dedicate nearly 80 years ago, would eventually become the largest city park in New York state outside of Manhattan’s Central Park.

Ironically, the name has no clear connection to the name of the famous Roosevelt family home, Hyde Park; rather, it was a gift from Charles B. Hyde, owner of a paper company, one of several that once dotted the landscape as a by-product of cheap and plentiful power and a skilled labor force in Niagara Falls that started the ball rolling.

Reportedly, when he sold the paper company and retired, he purchased a large tract of land on what was then the outskirts of the city. He willed the property to the city which took ownership after he died in 1921, laying the groundwork for the eventual development of the park.

In 1928, the Niagara Falls Power Company pitched in donating 58 acres, then stepped up to the plate again in 1943, tossing in another sizeable slice of valuable real estate.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page