In 1919 John D. Rockefeller, Jr. purchased five acres overlooking Seal Harbor and donated it as public space for a park. The site required significant preparation, with an existing hotel demolished and adjacent businesses relocated offsite. Once the site was prepared, the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society (VIS) created a park with an open lawn affording panoramic harbor views, deciduous shade trees, benches, and a granite-block retaining wall making the sloping site more usable for recreation.
An adjacent town-owned beachfront parcel was improved as an extension of the green by famed doctor and summer resident Edward K. Dunham. He began work on the project with Beatrix Farrand, which was continued by his widow in 1922 after his sudden death. Farrand’s design includes a terrace with a curved stone wall flanked with rugosa roses and blackberries; the project was dedicated in Dunham’s memory.
Unlike many typical greens in village centers in Maine, Seal Harbor’s green and beachfront parcel were set aside to ensure public oceanfront access. The sweeping lawn, site amenities and unobstructed views of the harbor remain, as does the Dunham memorial terrace and plantings. A granite watering trough which was donated by the VIS for Seal Harbor’s 1909 Centennial stands at the crossroads between the green and memorial.