Cascade Park, Bangor, ME



United States

Cascade Park

Built in 1934 on low swampy land across the street from the Bangor Water Works, which supplied city water from the Penobscot River, the park was designed by city manager James G. Wallace and funded by the Works Progress Administration. It was known for its unusual system of water features, including a twenty-foot-tall grotto with a waterfall carved into the hillside and stabilized with a battered stone wall. At the bottom of the cascade, water from a small concrete pool flowed into a narrow concrete “brook,” and then into a larger oval pool. Daytime visitors flocked to see the oval pool’s fountain, which projected a programmed series of sprays, domes, and jets 25 feet in the air. At night the fountain was illuminated with underwater multi-colored lights, while the waterfall was lit with colored floodlights from above. When it was built, between 1,000 and 3,000 automobiles entered the park each night to see the exuberant displays.

The park fell into disrepair in the 1970s but was rehabilitated in 1988. Park improvements include the introduction of low-growing ornamental shrubs which allow unobstructed views of the park’s water features and the Penobscot River and sundry contemporary additions including a footbridge, gazebo, picnic facilities, benches, and walking trails on the slope above the grotto.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes