Tucked away behind Lake St. E in a quiet residential neighborhood lies Brackett Park and recreation center, a quintessential urban escape with a variety of amenities and activities to entertain the entire family.
Visitors enjoy what nature has to offer by taking a stroll on the walking paths, reading a book beneath a canopy of trees and having a picnic with family and friends. Activities include kickball, softball, baseball, basketball, tennis and an outdoor skate park.
The signature landmark is the 35 ft. Return Journey sculpture. Originally installed in 1962, the Brackett Rocket was a children’s climbing structure symbolic of the entrance of the United States into the “space race.” The Rocket was partially closed in the late 1990s because it no longer met safety standards. In 2004 it was removed as part of park renovation.
The community, led by the Brackett Rocket Boosters, rallied to bring the Rocket back to the park in October 2007, culminating a two-year process that included fundraising and promotional activities. The Rocket was modified and transformed into public art to preserve its original symbolism by Minneapolis resident and artist Randy Walker. Poised for takeoff above an oval of boulders and smoke-colored shrubs, the sculpture is surrounded by 84 steel cables that give the appearance of a space liftoff.
Brackett Park was named in honor of George A. Brackett, a member of the first Board of Commissioners from 1883-87.
Historical Profile: More information about this and other parks is included in Parks, Lakes, Trails and So Much More, a richly detailed account of the histories of Minneapolis’ renown recreational system.
Brackett Recreation Center