Park, in Montclair, N.J., is a nearly 15-acre tranquil suburban oasis designed
more than a century ago by the nationally renowned Olmsted Brothers firm. Its
curving pathways and naturalistic ambiance reflect the aesthetic principles
of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect for Central Park in Manhattan,
and it was designed by his stepson, John Charles Olmsted.
Photo © Courtesy of Remi Riordan
The parkland was donated by Charles W. Anderson, an insurance
executive and prominent Montclair resident, and in 1903 it became part of
the pioneering Essex County Park Commission system. Extensive labor transformed
swampy ground into meadows, playing fields and pathways shaded by trees and
shrubs. The park opened in 1905 and became an inspiration to town leaders,
inspiring a movement one year later to create a network of town parks.
Photo © Scot Surbeck
Today Anderson Park -- bordered on the north by Bellevue Avenue,
on the south by The Parkside, on the west by North Mountain Avenue and on
the east by railroad tracks - is a favorite among strollers, dog walkers,
and children learning to ride bicycles. Its meadow is used for volleyball,
soccer and lacrosse. The 3/5-mile of paved pathways attracts joggers and is
wheelchair friendly. Bathrooms are at the southeast corner. Each fall the
park is host to the popular Fine Arts and Crafts Show, and in the spring it
is usually the host for Art in the Park. Year-round the park serves as a village
green for the historic Upper Montclair shopping district nearby.
In the summer of 2006 the park enjoyed a $1 million makeover,
acquiring more than 130 new trees and shrubs. Friends of Anderson Park is
committed to furthering that rehabilitation in the spirit of the original
|Friends of Anderson Park is grateful for funding from The Montclair Foundation and a Special Projects Grant from the New JerseyHistorical Commission, a division of the Department of State.