Historic Tyler Park in Lowell Historic Board’s “PRESENCE from the PAST” 2015 Summer Newsletter

The Summer 2015 Edition of the Lowell Historic Board Newsletter is out. Of particular interest is the story about one of the most historic of the city’s parks – Tyler Park as designed by the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted. Read all about it here….

Lowell Has Style: 
Tyler Park
In each newsletter, we’ll focus on a different architectural style found throughout Lowell to help you discover the many treasures in the community.  There are many architectural styles found in Lowell’s downtown and neighborhoods ranging from the Federal of the early 1800s to a wide range of Victorian styles.  In this edition, we’ll focus on landscape architecture and the history of Tyler Park.
Tyler Park (early 20th century)

Tyler Park is the only park in Lowell designed and laid out exclusively by Charles Eliot and the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted.  Exempted from construction in the Tyler Park Lands subdivision, the 2.74 acre park was donated to the City by the Tyler family in 1893 for use as a public park.  The park was an important selling point for house lots in the area.

Charles Eliot, a prominent Boston landscape architect, designed the park.  Shortly after beginning work, he became a partner in the Olmsted firm, the country’s foremost landscape architects.  The firm was responsible for New York City’s Central Park, San Francisco’s Golden Gate park, and over 300 parks in Massachusetts.  Of their parks, Tyler Park is believed to be the smallest ever built by the firm.


The park was designed to take advantage of the site’s natural features.  Eliot included paths, a central fountain, and a children’s play area in his plan.  After Eliot’s death in 1897, John Charles Olmsted continued to supervise work on the park.  However he found the park’s construction disappointing, especially the stonework of the central fountain which was dismantled in 1906 and replaced with a rockery.


Tyler Park (1910)

Despite Eliot’s vision for the park

never being fully executed, much of the strength of his original design is still evident today.  The topography, trees, and rocks reflect the vision of his plan while traces of the rockery and original paths still remain, all incorporated into a restoration of the park in the late 1990s.


The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 as part of the Tyler Park Historic District.

 Lowell Historic Board website ~ http://www.lowellma.gov/dpd/devservices/historic/Pages/default.aspx