4917 Bryant Ave. N
Minneapolis, MN 55430
Wading pools in parks adjacent to a school building will open after the school year ends.
Ice rinks are closed for the season.
Nearby Recreation Center: Creekview Recreation Center
Not finding what you're looking for?
Search Parks & Destinations
Baseball and Softball Fields have lights.
Hockey Rink has lights.
See what's currently in the works for this park. Some projects may be under the name of the regional park or service area it lives within. View Current Projects
Major investments at Central Gym Park in 2018 were made possible with funding from the 20-Year Neighborhood Park Plan. This historic agreement between MPRB and the City of Minneapolis helps address racial and economic equity across 160 neighborhood parks and provides $11 million annually to maintain, repair and replace facilities.
Name: The park was the site of the city’s workhouse and was called simply the Workhouse Site Playground from the time it was acquired in 1935 until it was officially named John C. Bohanon Park in 1946. Bohanon was an early settler in that region of Minneapolis.
Acquisition and Development
After the city closed the workhouse that had once occupied the site, the city council transferred the land to the park board in 1935. The donation followed years of discussions of what to do with the site. As early as 1926 the park board was involved in discussions with the City Planning Commission and the Department of Public Welfare over disposition of the site. The donation of land at the time was valued at $10,000. The original eight-plus acres of land were expanded with the addition of approximately ½ acre in 1957 when 50th Street between Bryant and Dupont avenues was vacated to connect the park to Jenny Lind School.
In 1936, the park board approved a request to locate in the park the home in which Governor Floyd B. Olson was born—if it could be done at no expense to the board. Apparently it couldn’t be, as the home was not placed there.
The park was originally graded and resurfaced as a Works Progress Administration project in 1940.
In the late 1940s, Bohannon was one of 15 playgrounds in the city where the summer schedule of afternoon recreation programs was adjusted to provide morning activities because of a large number of younger children in the neighborhood.
In 1951, at the request of the Jenny Lind School P. T. A., plans for the improvement of the Bohanon Field-Jenny Lind School Site were approved by the park board, the city planning commission and the school board.
The park was finally developed in 1956-1958 and integrated with the facilities of Jenny Lind School. New facilities included a wading pool, a hockey rink, floodlights and a shelter building. The improvements were funded by bonds and property assessments divided fifty-fifty between the neighborhood and the city as a whole.
The current Bohannon Park shelter was built in 1977.
One hundred new trees were planted in the park in 2009, two tennis courts were replaced in 2012 and the basketball court was resurfaced in 2014.
History through 2008 written by David C. Smith, with updates from 2009 to present written by MPRB.