By Cindi Sullivan
(LOUISVILLE, April 13th, 2004) -- Louisville's Shawnee and Chickasaw Parks are two parks that take advantage of the great views of the Ohio River. WAVE 3's Cindi Sullivan reports.
Shawnee and Chickasaw Parks are the Western flagship parks of the Louisville Olmsted system. Shawnee and Chickasaw were designed to take advantage of the views of the Ohio River and to provide a large open space -- Louisville's original Great Lawn -- for public gatherings and parades.
Those uses of Shawnee and Chickasaw continue to this day; the ball fields in Shawnee are home to a thriving summer league. And the basketball courts host the annual Dirt Bowl. The tennis courts at Chickasaw are the site of summer tennis tournaments.
Located at the end of Broadway and bordered by southwestern Parkway and the Ohio River, Chickasaw is 61 acres; Shawnee is 166 acres and borders the Shawnee Golf Course so that the parkland seems much larger.
One of the interesting features of Shawnee's original design was a series of very formal gardens along a concourse by the music pavilion. Truly a showplace at various periods of its history, the formal gardens bordering the music pavilion were full of flowers as recently as the 1950s. Sadly, only the remnants of the stairs and walkways remain today.
There are historic buildings still in Shawnee today. The Grand Pavilion is in need of repair but the timeless beauty of the original architecture is still evident.
My favorite spot in Chickasaw Park is by the little pond with the quaint little bridge. You will always find someone from the neighborhood feeding the fish there.