The Minor Parks
The Buffalo Board of Park Commissioners’ administration of the grounds under its control was deemed remarkably successful by the city. The grounds for which they were responsible were quickly developed, administered with economy and were acclaimed as responsive to the requirements of the citizenry. The Board also conducted its work with a minimum of political controversy. The city of Buffalo had maintained responsibility for the oversight, development and maintenance of the minor parks, squares and greens public spaces already in existence prior to the creation of the parks board.
In recognition of the quality of its oversight, the Board of Parks Commissioners was entrusted by the City with a considerable expansion of its responsibilities in 1886. At that time, all of the public greens, squares and parks in Buffalo were placed in its charge. As the Olmsted-designed parks and parkways were essentially completed by that time, the expanded role did not distract the Board from its mission. The new mandate proved to be quite harmonious with its earlier work.
Once tasked with administering these additional public spaces, the Board immediately took steps to evaluate the grounds newly under its care. As a result, the Board recognized the need to improve or complete several of the larger of those spaces. Accordingly, the Board engaged the Olmsted firm to draw up designs for upgrades to four of the minor parks newly in its care which it considered to be underdeveloped. The spaces selected were Day’s Park, Bennett Place, The Terrace, and Masten Place