1201 N Sheridan Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Nearby Recreation Center: North Commons Recreation Center
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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 named for Farwell Place, the origin of which is unknown. The park was named in the original 1889 plat and the name was never officially adopted or changed.
Acquisition and Development
Park board records indicate that the land was platted as a park in the Oak Park Supplement on June 4, 1889. However the first mention of the park in park board proceedings is in a request from the David C. Bell Investment Company on February 7, 1910 asking the board to formally accept the land as a park and to make modest improvements. The board approved initial improvements, grading and seeding the lot, on March 21, 1910.
In the board’s annual report of 1910, superintendent Theodore Wirth included a plan for the improvement of Farwell Park in what he said “promises to become one of the finest residential districts of the northwest side,” a neighborhood he referred to as “Home Wood.”
The plan for improvements is unusual in that it was not prepared by Wirth, but by Morell and Nichols, the landscape architects hired by D. C. Bell Investment Company. Wirth recommended that the plan be adopted by the board. Initial grading and seeding commenced in 1911, but was not finished until the following year. The improvements were paid for by the D. C. Bell Company, but the company was later reimbursed.
Playground equipment was first installed in the park in 1968 as part of an effort to provide more facilities for children in north Minneapolis.
The playground and plaza in the park were improved in 2001.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.