Queen City ParkMonday, December 05, 2011
Queen City Park in Tuscaloosa, which has a lot of art deco style -- the architect was Don Buel Schuyler -- was built, and dedicated in 1943 thanks to the WPA and the Civil Works Administration, with additional funds from the David Warner Foundation. If you're familiar with Tuscaloosa then the Warner name will likely be very familiar, as that's the family who, among other things, was the Gulf States Paper Co and gardens on site. In 1960, Jack Warner "commissioned architect Cecil Alexander to model Gulf States Paper's new corporate headquarters after an eleventh-century palace in Japan, complete with an interior garden inhabited by peacocks and black-necked swans." More about that later.
This article is about the Queen City Trails.
About the pool, at which this fountain (above) was at the head, it was written almost ten years ago that the "Friends of Queen City Park would like to see it filled to about the two-foot level and turned into a reflecting pool with flower gardens and paths over much of it....A plan commissioned by the city two years ago called for a garden and path over half of the pool and a small therapy pool on the other half."
This is the bath house designed by Don Buel Schuyler:
It's slated to become the Mildred Warner Westervelt Transportation Museum -- it was written in October that it's behind schedule to open because "Officials say the setbacks can be attributed mostly to bad luck. Plans to use the original flooring of the former Queen City Bathhouse were scrapped after construction efforts caused too much damage and the floor needed to be replaced. Then, earlier this year, the original contractor on the project went bankrupt, which then caused delays in completing the $1.53 million in renovations and upgrades."
What's most interesting in all this is how the Warners have stayed close to this property, and the family's art collection (which has undergone a great upheaval this year -- while many important pieces have left Tuscaloosa, a collection remains as the new Tuscaloosa Museum of Art). And for an idea of what the Warners collect, absolutely see this (paneled walls from an English castle were brought to Jack's home in Tuscaloosa, for one).