Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Roses, Orange Square

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A few rose photos from Orange Square, one of the five tiny parks in Ladd's Addition that the city collectively calls "Ladd Circle Park and Rose Gardens". Ladd Circle is the traffic circle at the heart of the neighborhood; it turns out the four squares have individual names too, although they've fallen out of common use: Orange Square, Maple Square, Cypress Square, and Mulberry Square, all named after adjacent streets. Or at least this was the naming scheme the city proposed in February 1909. It's not clear whether this was ever officially adopted, as a number of the other names in the proposal weren't, like "Jefferson Park" for what we now know as Washington Park, and "Pennoyer Park" for Governors Park.

The whole neighborhood was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988, and the official registration document refers to the parks by both these names and generic location-based terms ("South Park", "West Park", etc.), which aren't so much names as a way to tell the squares apart since the actual names never really caught on with the general public The neighborhood organization that maintains the gardens is probably the only group that needs to refer to the parks individually very often, and I have no idea what names they use for the squares. In any case, here's what the city told the National Park Service about this square in 1988:

Description: South Park is a diamond-shaped parallelogram, measuring 100 feet on each side, bounded by S.E. 16th Avenue, S.E. Orange, and S.E. Tamarack. The major organizing scheme, which adheres to the original plan, is a pair of wide turf paths bisecting the parallelogram. They meet in the middle, forming a small parallelogram. Diamond-shaped rose beds are located between the paths; these each have been subdivided by eight narrow turf paths meeting in a circle at the center of the bed. The varieties have been updated over the years, consistent with the intent of the designer, E.T. Mische, who, in 1912, reported to the park board that "...so rapidly as the newly introduced varieties ...may be propagated in sufficient quantities...they will find a location here in a representative mass. After they have grown here several years they are to give way to later or better introductions." At present, the park has over thirty varieties of hybrid tea roses, ranging from Etoile de Hollande, introduced in 1919, to American Pride, introduced in 1974. Cultural Data: Park superintendent E.T. Mische designed the planting scheme for the secondary parks, of which this is one, in the fall of 1909. In 1910 water systems were installed, turf walks laid, and roses planted. The parks have served, since 1910, to display various varieties of roses.

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