Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Imaginary Park" and also "Flintstone Park"

"Imaginary Park" and also "Flintstone Park"

It was known by locals/children as "Imaginary Park" and also "Flintstone Park". It was in existence from 1962 until 1966, (27th and Madison area).

The park was designed by local sculptor Dale Eldred and by Elpilio Rocha an architect from the local firm Elpidio Rocha and Associates. Mr. Rocha grew up in an area near the park. It did not belong to the KC Park Department. It was a recreation area that was under the jurisdiction of the Recreation Division of the Welfare Department. This was before the Park Department and the Recreation Division joined together.

There is one photograph on the KC Public Library's website from their Missouri Valley Special Collections:

http://www.kchistory.org/u?/Landmarks,10

It was built on the site of what had been the Lowell School. As one newspaper article said in 1961 "An incredible mixture of wood, stone, sand, asphalt, water, plants and plain old dirt, it is going to be either the craziest or the greatest playground the Penn Valley people have ever seen - or maybe even both." KC Star Dec. 5, 1961. From the description of the design you could tell that it was not designed by a regular designer of playgrounds with its "curved walls of stone, logs jutting forth from the logs like a roof, logs 13 feet tall set upright to be like a "forest", spray pools and sand to emulate a beach, mounds of earth and stone. It won Rocha and Eldred an award for art in architecture from the KC chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1963. If you have photos we will post them...

It was taken out in 1966 for the highway.