For years I’ve driven past the large empty semi-triangular lot that is created where Preston Road turns into Oak Lawn Avenue and Armstrong Parkway turns briefly into Lakeside Drive. I’ve often wondered as I wait for the light to change at the Armstrong and Preston intersection during my morning commute what exactly that lot is for. Is it a park? Is it undeveloped real estate?!
On Palm Sunday I made a journey around the parks of Highland Park with fellow staffer Michelle Saunders in pursuit of photographing all the lush green spaces that dot our community. After looking at a town map I noticed the mysterious lot in question was labeled Church Park. Dutifully Michelle and I stopped there for photos. I thought that perhaps it was called Church Park because Third Church of Christ, Scientist borders the lot.
After laying on the ground to take a photo of the most distinguishing characteristic of the lot, the weeds, I realized if this was a park it wasn’t much of one.
Yesterday the Director of Town Services, Ronnie Brown, called to discuss Highland Park’s parks with me. I asked him about Church Park and the mystery was solved. The town had leased the lot from the Third Church of Christ, Scientist for a period of time as it was considered being made designated park land. But at some point, he wasn’t specific, the lease expired and it turns out I had been traipsing around private property.
It’s always nice to solve a mystery, but now I’ll have to find something else to ponder over in the mornings. Any suggestions?