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Fun Facts & History
The park was named for Mrs. Jennings parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Hansford Hyde, who died in Nacogdoches before the Civil War. Few improvements were made to it until around 1901 when the Carnegie Library was constructed. In early 1910, controversy arose between the park board and the Park League regarding the planting of trees in the park. The Park League wanted to follow George Kessler’s idea that the park should remain an unbroken lawn but the park board favored the planting of trees. The conflict was taken to Kessler for a final verdict. He agreed that trees would be appropriate for the park but feared that young trees would take years to mature and in the interval, conditions around the park might change. The park board’s resolution was to plant trees of a good size. A local newspaper considered this a victory for both sides. Later in the year, the park department planted Japan “varnished trees” along the street. That same year the Fort Worth Gas Company installed ornamental arc lamps in the park as a bit of advertisement for its business office located nearby.
In 1951, several improvements were made to the park. These included the installation of precast stone benches flanked by brick flower boxes which were to be planted with flowering shrubs. A wide paved walk followed the line of the benches around the south and east sides of the park. Another walk was installed at the north end. The area between the sidewalks was treated like a lawn and a drinking fountain was installed at the center. Existing trees were preserved. The cost of the project was $8,000.
In 2002, a fountain with a sculpture of a sleeping panther was dedicated in the park. The legend of the sleeping panther grew from an intended slur from a reporter with a Dallas newspaper in 1873. The reporter stated that Fort Worth was so boring that a panther could sleep on its streets. Instead of taking the comment as an insult, Fort Worthians adopted the name “Panther City.” Neurosurgeon George Cravens, who owned the adjacent Flatiron Building (constructed in 1907 with panther heads as ornaments), commissioned the sculpture by Italian artist Franco Alessandrini.
In the late 1990s, the City of Fort Worth, the U.S. General Services Administration, Downtown Fort Worth, Inc., the Fort Worth Transportation Authority, and adjacent property owners began plans to make Hyde Park an area of focus again in downtown by creating the Hyde Park Transit Plaza on the former library site north of the park. As part of the project, Ninth Street between Jennings and Throckmorton Street was removed to connect the two parcels. The General Service Administration’s renovation of Federal (Lanham) Plaza was also part of the overall project.
View animal, plant and insect species observed at Hyde Park and make some of your own observations through iNaturalist. See link under the "Related information" Section.
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201 West 9th Street, Fort Worth 76102 View Map