Rosewood Park, Austin, TX
Rosewood Park, Austin, TX



United States

Rosewood Park

Situated two miles northeast of downtown Austin, this 13.9-acre park was established in 1929 as Austin’s first public open space set aside for African Americans. A year prior to the creation of the park, a city plan by Dallas-based consulting firm Koch & Fowler institutionalized racial segregation by designating a “Negro District.” As Austin’s African American population was largely concentrated in the area on the northeast edge of the city, the neighborhood became said district. Prior to the creation of Rosewood Park, African Americans used Emancipation Park, a nearby parcel purchased in 1905 by the Negro Park Association, for use in civic events, such as the annual Juneteenth celebration. By 1938 Emancipation Park had been seized by the City for the site of Rosewood Courts, a federally funded public housing project. 

By the end of the 1930s Rosewood Park included a swimming pool, stone entry columns, a bandstand, and a sports field flanked by stone retaining walls—some of which was built by the Civil Works Administration. In 1944 a recreation center was constructed in the southwest corner of the park. The center was later renamed for Doris “Dorrie” Miller, an African American Naval officer who died in World War II. In the 1950s the pool was enlarged and a bathhouse and concession stand were constructed. Two decades later, a federal grant was used to expand the recreation center and landscape architect Dave Bennett designed its surroundings. In 1973 a log cabin (dating to the 1860s) was relocated from 11th Street to Rosewood Park. Today, the park’s open fields and recreation facilities on undulating topography accommodate a diversity of park users.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes