This tiny odd-shaped park utilized the last scrap of land assembled by RSA for its mammoth Monroe Street undertaking in 1992. The park, dedicated in January of 2000, acknowledges Montgomery’s seven historical eras and honors six unsung heroes who contributed to the progress of each era.
I am afraid that the Pavilion Park, as we named it, had a difficult birth. Who knows what possessed David Bronner to buy the funny C-shaped parcel that stretched along the north side of Monroe Street between Hull and McDonough. The lot would surely not accommodate a significant building. Perhaps he wanted to be sure that the Madison Car Wash did not have a portal on the soon-to-be refurbished Monroe Street.
As was noted in the Tower stories, this odd little piece of property became the most storied of any piece of ground that appears in these narratives. The episodes in the stories linked below do not revolve around conflicts between political titans, but rather deal with the theme of the park and with the very ground it sat on.
When all this started, the east end of the C-shaped parcel was the site of the Dagistino Tile Building. When that structure was demolished in an early phase of the Monroe development, the empty lot became the temporary resting place for the famous historic Rice-Semple House, which, as noted in the RSA Union story, was ignominiously parked there for months on end while its fate was debated. The frustration of the local preservation zealots knew no bounds over the ploy, and the delay seemed to intensify their resentment.
The RSA put together a very nice 20 page explanation of the Pavilion Park and the story/history behind it. You can find it by clicking here.
There are many more stories (too much for one post) on the RSA Pavilion Park. Below are some of those stories from Charles Humphries’ book titled The Peril & Intrigue Within Architecture.
- The Maintenance Building
- The Concept
- Will Hill and the Ship’s Mast
- Dirt Problems
- Brouhaha Over The Bids
- Seven Eras
- Seven Flags
- Six Honorees
- The History Buffs Attack
- Anxiety Over The Sculptor
- The Panel Process
- Larry’s Prejudice
- Greta Spills The Beans
- A New Mayor
- Dedication Day