Pratt City Park

From Bhamwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the park on 3rd Street Pratt in Central Pratt. For the park on Hibernian Street in North Pratt, see One Pratt Place.

Pratt City Park is a 15.82-acre Birmingham city park located at the eastern terminus of 3rd Street Pratt, east of Alder Avenue on the eastern edge of the Central Pratt neighborhood.

The park is a remnant of a 40-acre park which the City of Birmingham leased from the Republic Steel & Iron Company for $40 a year. After the city improved the park, it was dedicated at a barbecue on September 20, 1913. In the 1940s the Pratt City Service Club hosted a major annual two-day festival at the park, featuring barbecue, softball, sideshows, and the crowning of a carnival queen. In 1958 an inspection of the park listed numerous maintenance issues, including vandalism, erosion, broken beer and whisky bottles, and general decay.

During the long period when Birmingham's segregation ordinances were enforced, Pratt City Park was open only to white residents. After nearly decades of lobbying, Pratt City Colored Park was opened on the western side of the neighborhood. In 1962 with racial integration looming, a Pratt City Recreation Committee, led by George C. Jones, was formed to raise funds to purchase the park and operate it as a private enterprise.

Pratt City Park is currently anchored by a combination football field and baseball diamond. It also includes two asphalt-paved basketball courts, a barbecue pavilion, and a playground.

In the wake of the April 2011 tornado outbreak which devastated the Pratt community, plans were developed to add a community storm shelter to the park. The completed shelter opened in December 2016.