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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Heckscher Park

No, not the big state park on the South Shore.

I am talking about a small but historic park in Huntington village. 

Huntington is on the  North Shore.  The town very proud of its colonial-era heritage.  It is also a thriving modern community; the village area features upscale restaurants and very nice shops.

Heckscher Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.  It is a small community park, and so much more.  It contains tennis courts, a baseball field, a playground...an outdoor theater...a beautifully landscaped pond...an art museum.   

Yes, an art museum. The Heckscher Museum of Art was founded by August Heckscher in 1920.  It currently houses over 2,000 works, primarily of 19th and 20th Century American artists. 

I used to go to Heckscher Park for arts festivals and to see some of the local entertainment that graces the outdoor stage, but I hadn't been there in a long time.  And it occurred to me that Heckscher Park would be an interesting place for a walk.

The park sits on Main Street, right behind the Old First Church.  If you look up the hill towards the street, you get excellent views of this historic church:


There's a beautiful footpath all around the pond, home to geese and swans.  Watch your footing, especially on the southeast side of the pond, the geese are very much at home here. 

 
 

 




I confess that I have never been inside the art museum, but it does look interesting:


Those steel beams in front of the museum are part of the 9/11 memorial. 


And the memorial:



If you walk through the columns of steel, at the end you will find the waterfall:


I love the gazebo:


There are small monuments and artwork throughout the park:





The fountain is lovely:

 

The theater:



Yes, the theater is named for Harry Chapin.  He lived in Huntington for many years.  His wife is still very active in the local arts council.  

In fact, Heckscher Park is part of my personal history with Chapin.  It was here, during an appearance at the arts festival,  that he gave me an autographed Frisbee and kissed my cheek. 

Overall a very nice park, a pleasant place to take a walk. 

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