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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Garrison Park Grandstand, brief history and photos of current condition

While there are some efforts to try and save the old grandstand at Garrison park, the structure is not in very good shape with leaks and mold problems, and the city says there are plenty of baseball fields at Centennial Park that are in better shape.

Crossville recreation director Tammie French said that the park would become a community park that would provide activities and play for children in the area and for adults, a walking trail.  The second phase of the project will include a multi purpose field that would allow football and soccer games as well.  French pointed out that the city currently has no football fields in its inventory. 

In 1947, the start of the city of Crossville’s recreation department included approval by the Crossville city commission to approve the financing of the construction of Garrison Park Grandstands. The dream of grandstands had been in the works back into the 1920's when a fund raiser was held at the Mecca. It is not know what happened to any funding raised, but until almost 1950 there was just a baseball field at Garrison Park.

The property at Garrison Park was most likely acquired when the city got the land for the construction of City School on Fourth Street. The city kept ownership of the park when they gave the city school to the county to operate.

From it's construction until the time the Crossville Blues semi-pro baseball team was disbanded in the early 1950's it was their home field. It was a big part of the warm weather entertainment of that time. After the semi-pro team disbanded, the field and grandstands were used for a variety of local teams to play baseball including the Cumberland Co. High School team and it was operated by the city recreation department.

The field was named after Bill Garrison, a local resident who went north to make his fortune in Chicago. He was also known as “Dollar Bill” for the story that he left Crossville with only a dollar in his pocket. When he returned he built the Will-Nell building where Highland Federal is today and the Palace Theatre. He also owned the house on 70-E that was also known as the Oaklawn Country Club.

The story is that he donated money towards the construction and that is the reason the park was named after him. If the city's current plans goes through, the park would remain known as Garrison Park.    

Below are some photos of the current state of the grandstands.  We were able to get access to the space under the grandstands and there are leaks and mold problems currently.

This photo shows an area under the grandstand that is leaking badly.  
This is below both the roof and the concrete seats.

Ladies Restroom

Door frame rusting out

Under the grandstand

Bricks, rust and water under the grandstand

Water coming in causes the white scaling

Concrete damage and rust

The photos below are exterior damage.  It appears that the brick exterior may be of a later date then the original construction.  

1 comment:

  1. I recall myself, Gary Brown and Lowell Patton adding the covering around the concessions area, many many years ago. We gathered the materials through donations from several businesses throughout the City. I also remember using the area underneath the stadium for football locker rooms, boxing and off season workouts. Butch Burgess, Jim Turner, Dexter Patton, Coleman Vandever, were just a few of the fine men that were a big influence to us, as we grew up. They taught us the true meaning of sportsmanship.