Wilcox Park, Westerly, RI



United States

Wilcox Park

A 14-acre green space in downtown Westerly, Wilcox Park began with seven acres donated by Harriet Wilcox in 1898 in honor of her deceased husband, Stephen Wilcox. Warren H. Manning devised the plans for the park between 1898 and1903, and construction began the following year. In 1905 the area of the park doubled, and Manning’s designs were expanded by local landscape architect, Frank Hamilton. In 1929, Arthur A. Shurcliff created a formal terrace with a granite balustrade and staircase on the southern border, adjacent to the town library. Shurcliff also designed the granite basin for the Wilcox Memorial Fountain (1930) and the World War Memorial (1937).

In the center of the park lies an open meadow in a natural basin, bordered by coniferous and evergreen trees, high stone walls, and topographical features. Originally, a few stands of trees punctuated the lawn, but more were planted following a devastating hurricane in 1938 which felled more than 100 mature specimens. Later additions include perennial gardens edged by boxwood and a collection of Japanese maples. It was listed on the National Register for Historic Places in 1973.

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