In 1883, the city purchased 35 acres of land and turned it into the first city-owned park, a gorgeous commons known as Centra... More
In 1883, the city purchased 35 acres of land and turned it into the first city-owned park, a gorgeous commons known as Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the designer of New York City's Central Park. In 1890, the park's name was changed to honor Charles Loring, the first president of the Minneapolis Park Board and the initial force behind preserving much of the land that eventually evolved into one of the nation's most magnificent city park systems.An active and much-used inner city recreation area, Loring Park has a basketball court, paved walking and bike paths, numerous tennis courts, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard courts. In winter, the lake is packed with skaters. On the west side Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge connects the park to the Walker Art Center. Loring Greenway, a well-traveled pedestrian thoroughfare, connects the park to downtown's Nicollet Mall. At the end of the Greenway is the Berger Fountain, shaped like a giant dandelion. Free concerts are held in the summer and picnic tables are scattered throughout the park. The recreation building houses restrooms, an information center and ping-pong tables.