Verona Park, Verona, NJ



United States

Verona Park

In 1920, the Verona Park Association officially purchased the land and surrounding acreage to form the present 54-acre park. Olmsted Brothers was hired to design the park as part of their work for the Essex County Park Commission.  The picturesque site centered around a thirteen-acre lake formed in 1814 when the Peckman River was dammed for a grist mill. Over time the lake, edged with weeping willows and winding paths, became a popular destination for bathing and picnics.

Olmsted Brother's plans from 1922 incorporate a variety of passive and active recreation spaces, including open lawns, a hillside for sledding, beach, sunken garden, scenic overlook, footbridge, playfield, a concert ground, picnic grove, and a boat house. In 1927, the firm developed a new planting strategy along with a new boathouse, comfort stations, and bandstand, which were all built and remain significant structures in the park today. In 1929 the historic dam was reconstructed while final plans for a 36-foot footbridge were established. In 1932 a final planting plan was submitted which included lining the commercial avenues with trees and separating the park from the more commercial zones of Verona. In 2008, rehabilitation efforts were carried out which made improvements to the park while maintaining the Olmsted firm’s overall design.

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