Harmon Field Park
- Basketball Court
- Park Lighting
- Parking Lot
- Soccer Field
- Stand Alone Swing
- Water Feature
Fun Facts and History
In 1925, the William E. Harmon Foundation of New York City gave the city $2,000 for the purchase of land for use as a park for the city’s African American population. The gift specified that the land was to be used in perpetuity for playground and recreational purposes and that no buildings were to be constructed on the property “except for the furtherance of ‘desirable play and recreation.’” It was also specified that the property was to be known as “Harmon Field.” The terms of the gift were later changed whereby the city was asked to purchase the parcel and the $2,000 was to be used for improvements at the park. A 1929 newspaper article described the five-acre parcel as being two blocks north of East Front Street “in the valley just east of Chambers Hill.” The article went on to say that the park “as it stands today affords all the athletic and recreational equipment of the ordinary community park of the city. It is conducted as a playground by the Recreation Department, just as Sycamore and other parks for white people.”
African Americans began requesting the creation of a golf course for their use as early as the 1940s. The park department began acquiring land adjacent to Harmon Field, including a 65-acre tract deeded to the city by the Tarrant County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1. In all, approximately one hundred acres between the Rock Island railroad lines on the north, East Lancaster Avenue on the South, the Trinity River on the east and a bluff on the west had been acquired for the expansion of Harmon Field and the creation of a golf course there. Overlooking this site from the bluff top was the I. M. Terrell High School, the city’s primary high school for African Americans prior to 1950.
On June 13, 1954, the new Harmon Recreation Center and Golf Course were dedicated. The new facilities were constructed at a cost of $200,000. Activities ranging from dance to craft classes were offered at the recreation center under the direction of the recreation department. Unfortunately, the golf course was short-lived. Six acres on its west side were lost to the construction of the North-South Freeway in the late 1950s. This yielded the course unusable. In 1958, the City Council approved the sale of fifteen acres off of the north side of the course to the highest bidder, thus diminishing the size of the course even more. However, black golfers were finding acceptance at other public courses in the city and their use of the Harmon Field course had decreased in the months prior to the sales.
The Harmon Recreation Center remained in use. In 1964, Bertha Collins was hired by the Park and Recreation Department as director of the center. Until her unexpected death in 1981, she remained a prominent proponent of the city’s children. Following her death, the center was renamed in her honor.
In 2000, work began on the construction of soccer fields and improvements to the park’s parking lot. Today the park consists of 97.5 acres.
View animal, plant and insect species observed at Harmon Field Park and make some of your own observations through iNaturalist. See link under the "Related information" Section.
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1501 Martin Luther King Freeway, Fort Worth 76102 View Map