THE PLAN FOR SENECA PARK WAS PRESENTED IN 1928 AND WAS THE LAST OF THE PARKS DESIGNED IN LOUISVILLE BY THE OLMSTED FIRM.
In 1922, the land known today as Seneca Park and Bowman Field was inherited by a German man named Waldemar Konrad von Zedtwitz. Prior to inheriting the land, America was at war with Germany and von Zedtwitz was serving as a lieutenant in the German Army. During the war the US created an Office of Alien Property Custodian, and because von Zedtwitz was a German citizen, control of his land was transferred to the US Trust Company of Louisville. After World War I ended, von Zedtwitz hired an attorney to regain possession of his estate.
The Louisville Board of Parks Commissioners contacted the Trust Company of Louisville, expressing interest in purchasing the land to expand park space. In 1928, after years of trials and negotiations, Zedtwitz was still unable to gain control of his land, so he agreed to sell the 540-acre property to the Parks Commission. After the purchase of this land, the Louisville Board of Parks Commissioners leased 200 acres to Bowman Field. With the remaining acres, Olmsted Brothers firm began designing Seneca Park. Two years later the Board purchased the necessary land to connect Seneca and Cherokee Parks. Seneca Park was the last park in Louisville designed by the Olmsted firm.
Seneca Park now includes a golf course, baseball fields, basketball courts, biking, cross country trails, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, horseback riding trails, picnic tables, a playground, and a 1.2 mile long walking path. According to The Trust for Public Land, Seneca Park has 500,000 visitors annually, placing it in the top 100 municipal parks in the United States. Frederick Law Olmsted Parks were designed to enhance the life of the communities around them. Olmsted Parks Conservancy restores, enhances, and preserves these parks and parkways so Louisvillians can continue to enjoy all the benefits these beautiful parks have to offer.
The design plan for Seneca was in stark contrast to neighboring Cherokee Park because of its formal style and also because the plan included an 18-hole golf course along with many other recreation facilities.
Key Features & Amenities
- Biking – Mountain
- Biking – Road
- Cross Country
- Field Hockey
- Hiking Trails
- Horse Riding Trails
- Picnic Tables
- Walking Path