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Children's Pavilion to be reconstructed in Highland Park

Apr 17, 2019

Credit Highland Park Conservancy

The Highland Park Conservancy is planning to resurrect a beloved structure in the park  in the next few years.

From 1890 through 1963, the highest point of Highland Park held a three-story structure that offered panoramic views, the vision of famed park designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

The structure became known as the Children’s Pavilion, a place where children in the city could play in fresh air. It also became a popular spot for ceremonies, concerts and family gatherings.

Edna Claunch is the co-chair of the Children’s Pavilion reconstruction capital campaign. 

She said the pavilion was originally built when malaria was spreading through the city.

Credit Highland Park Conservancy

"And they wanted the children to have fresh air, to be able to come and replenish their health” Claunch said. “And it was a place that women could bring their babies to assure that they would have good help. So it’s more than just a poetic feature. It is also one of health and welfare for entire families."

Claunch said the pavilion will be the same as the old one, with one upgrade.

"The elevator,” she said. “Which guarantees that every child, or every adult, whether they be in a wheelchair, canes, walkers, will be able to come to the very top and they too will experience what had been intended for this pavilion."

The Highland Park Conservancy announced a $3 million capital campaign to reconstruct the pavilion. Half of that has already been raised or pledged.

Credit Highland Park Conservancy

The goal is to complete and dedicate the new pavilion on the same location in 2022 in conjunction with the anniversary of Olmsted's 200th birthday.

Olmsted designed several celebrated parks, including Highland Park and Central Park in New York City.