Memorial Park is on bank of the St. Johns River in Jacksonville. It was built to honor the 1200 Floridians who died in World War I.
Jacksonville residents really embraced building the park and 31 civic groups were involving in the planning and raising funds. They got the Olmsted Brothers to design the park. The Olmsted Brothers were famous for laying out college campuses, National Parks, Washington state's Northern State Hospital, among many other projects. They worked with local architect Roy Benjamin. The park was completed in 1924 and dedicated on Christmas Day.
The bronze sculpture "Life " is the centerpiece of the park. It was created by Adrian Pillars and it is stunning. It reminds me of the sculptures in Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo. In both places, people spend a lot time with the sculptures and it is really is moving to see people's reactions.
Over the years the park fell into disrepair. The community rallied behind the park in the mid 1980's and created the Memorial Park Association that was founded by Anne Freeman. They've helped maintain and restore the park after storms. The association donated two 48" tall bronze eagles by local artist, Diane LaFond Insetta in 2011. Their design was from two concrete statues that were installed when the park opened. The statues sculpted in bronze, were donated by the MPA and dedicated on May 29, 2011.
Hurricane Irma flooded the park in 2017 and the balustrade has still not been fixed. This park is very popular with people of all ages and a lot of residents use the park daily especially people from the nearby condos. The park is located in Riverside neighborhood of Jacksonville, one of the oldest in the city.