Triangle Park, in downtown Lexington, fans out to envelop the beholder into the tranquility of soft waterfalls, wide stone promenades lined with Honey Locust trees, pottery filled with blooming flowers, expanses of green grass surrounded by tables and chairs. The Honey Locust tree (gleditsia triacanthos), first observed scientifically in 1700, ushers in spring with fragrant blooms. Park patrons can enjoy lunch from at the outdoor café, engage in games of chess and backgammon, listen to musical selections, watch theatrical productions, attend open-air classes, surf the Internet or simply soak up the sun as it drifts through the fern-like leaves of the Locust trees. After the Locust tree leaves turn yellow in the fall, an ice skating rink keeps the park vibrant and alive during the winter season.
The land that is Triangle Park was part of the verdant Blue Grass landscape that lured Daniel Boone and other pioneers to Kentucky and was home to numerous businesses at Broadway and Main Cross streets. Thomas January, later a prominent hemp manufacturer, had a store there in 1806. Other occupants of the block were town clerk John Arthur, coach maker John Stout and night watchman Thomas Ocheltree. Over the years, a glassware operation, a confectionary, a grocery, a pharmacy, liquor dispensary and furniture stores stood on the block.
Triangle Park officially opened to the public on July 2, 1982. The landscape designer for the park was well known landscape architect Robert L. Zion of New York. Robert Zion, designed some of New York’s most cherished oases and considered landmarks of civic design: Samuel Paley Plaza (better known as Paley Park), the atrium of the I.B.M. Building and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art (for which Mr. Zion long served as a consultant to the garden’s architect, Philip Johnson) are among the most enduring contributions to the cityscape in the past half-century. Paley Park in particular brought new ways of thinking about public space in New York. Commissioned by William S. Paley, chairman of CBS, and named for his father, the project introduced the concept of the vest-pocket park, a small, privately maintained midblock refuge from the Manhattan grid. Having under gone extensive restoration, Triangle Park has been returned to its lush greenery, with cascading waterfalls, a people’s park within Lexington’s cityscape.
Triangle Park is now smoke free. Shopping and other storage carts are strictly prohibited in the park.
ABOUT THE TRIANGLE FOUNDATION
Triangle Foundation, Inc. was established in 1980 by Mr. Alex Campbell Jr. and a group of community leaders to develop Triangle Park, located in the heart of downtown Lexington. Over the years, the Triangle Foundation has expanded its membership to include over 100 board members whose generous donations to the foundation help fund the Triangle Foundation’s projects. The mission of the foundation is to initiate private projects for public benefit. Since the creation of Triangle Park, the foundation has developed Equestrian Park at Blue Grass Airport, Thoroughbred Park and Woodland Skateboard Park, along with several other important community projects.