Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Racine Street Park Shops?

A reader of the blog contacted me recently with a question regarding Racine Street Park, also known as Racine Playground.  He'd seen a recent mention of the park in the "Back in Time" section of the Twin City News-Record and wondered about its history after it had featured a news article regarding Menasha's mayor indicating an offer of over $100,000 had been made to purchase the land in favor of a shopping center.

As many of us already know, the land that used to house the playgound in summer and skating rink, in winter, is currently the home of the public library and the fire/police department.  In former years, up until 1936, it had been home to the old Menasha High School. After the devastating fire, the new high school was built on Seventh Street and the old high school land became the Racine Street Park for the next 30-odd years. 

January 7, 1964 Appleton Post-Crescent
April 9, 1964  Appleton Post-Crescent

September 8, 1965 Appleton Post-Crescent

June 22, 1966 Appleton Post-Crescent
As such matters often go, they have a way of being defeated, either over longevity or political infighting or change in administrations.  In the next seven or so years, the idea went from building a new city hall, to a shopping center, to tabling it and keeping the park as is, to utilizing the land for the eventual public library.
Thanks to Brad Morrison, for bringing this to my attention. 

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