Hyde Park is located in South St Joseph|
The Hyde Park drive, constructed in 1925-1928, encircles the park and ends at Hyde Park.
It consists of 93 acres at 4th Street and Hyde Park Avenue
The park includes Hyde swimming pool and patio, three lighted tennis courts, playground,
picnic area, bandstand/shelter house, a gazebo and three additional shelter houses,
six lighted ballfields, horseshoe courts, basketball goals, two concession stands and restrooms
At one time, back in 1926, Hyde Park had a small zoo.
It took nearly four years to convince the public of the plan's worth and to begin the
condemnation and purchase of the rest of the land for Hyde Park. In 1926, the final payment for
the Hyde Park property was made, and its boundaries have remained intact since that time.
One of the selling points for the entire parks system was the provision for a zoo. Hyde Park was
the proposed location of this zoo. However, not wishing to alienate the surrounding residents,
the Board was quick to point out that Hyde Park would "also contain ample provision for
It is somewhat interesting to note that these early discussions of the zoo
emphasized that there would not be a great variety in the animals displayed, but that the focus
would be on showing them in natural habitats. The plans included a buffalo run, a deer park,
cages for bears, and a sea lion area.
In 1926, the Olmsted Brothers, a landscape architectural
firm from Massachusetts, prepared a report for the Parks Board which strongly advised against
locating the zoo in Hyde Park. One of the problems with the site was its low-lying character and
the associated dampness. Eventually however, animals were kept in Hyde Park, but were
removed after a tragic incident in 1936 when the caretaker, John C. Hane, was killed by a camel
Burnap's revised park system plans of 1924 designated the location for a municipal swimming
pool in the park. Designed by the city engineer, William K. Seitz, it was completed in 1925.
This pool was eventually replaced in 1955. This pool has now been closed due to problems and may be removed completely.