2927 N Irving Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Nearby Recreation Center: Farview Recreation Center
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Name: The park was named for Jordan Junior High School which previously occupied the site. The school was named when it was constructed in 1922 for Charles M. Jordan, former superintendent of Minneapolis schools. Jordan’s role in park history goes back to the late 1890s when he promoted the development of playgrounds and athletic fields in city parks. He worked with Charles Loring and William Folwell to encourage the development of the first playgrounds. He also urged the park board to develop The Parade as an athletic ground that could be used by school athletic teams from across the city.
Acquisition and Development
The neighborhood had been targeted since the late 1930s as one that was underserved by playgrounds and neighborhood parks. Given the park board’s lack of funds during the Depression and World War II, however, little could be done to address the problem. Beginning in 1946 the park board and school board operated joint recreation programs between Folwell Park and Jordan Junior High School.
The acquisition of the first land for a park at Cleveland School, several blocks northwest of Jordan, in 1951 helped address the shortage of playing spaces in neighborhood. That acquisition had the active support of the Jordan Junior High PTA.
The land for Jordan Park was acquired by the park board in 1983 when a new Jordan Junior High School was built on the eastern portion of the school board’s property. The land west of the school became Jordan Park. A small shelter and wading pool were built in 1984 and the creation of the park was completed in 1986 at a total cost of more than $500,000.
In 1997 the park board added a combination soccer and football field for use by the park and school.
In 2002 the park board began a series of community meetings to improve the park. Renovations of the park, including new play equipment, picnic area, more shade trees, regrading of the berms around the park, and improved lighting, were completed in 2007.
Jordan Park was the site of the annual Arbor Day celebration in 2010, when 140 new trees were planted in the park by volunteers aided by park board staff.
Park history compiled and written by David C. Smith.