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Perkinson’s Quarry and Abandoned Art-Deco Police Station, Hyde Park

I learned recently from Joyce Pharriss that Windsor Park was not originally a park, but a quarry:

That park was just an empty lot when my parents bought the store around 1947, and we kids played in it, running through weeds that were over our heads.  My dad told me that it used to be a quarry, that my great-great grandfather worked in it in when he was an old man, “making little ones out of big ones,” or breaking up rocks.   When it was made into a park, we kids played softball, horseshoes, volleyball, etc. all summer there, and when we wanted a break, we’d go over to the police station that was across the street on Penrose and get a cold drink of water from their drinking fountain. 

Hyde Park Quarry

You can see the quarry below, clearly labeled as Perkinson’s Quarry in the Sanborn Map at the turn of the Twentieth Century.

Perkinson's Quarry

While I was intrigued to learn this, Windsor Park by no means is the only place in the city where a former quarry or industrial site.  Fox Park, for example, is perhaps the most famous one, named after the former lumber company that occupied the site.  Likewise, there are other places, such as out Natural Bridge, where there are parks now.  Also, in some instances the land has been left vacant, or built over with houses that later collapse.

The police station that Joyce refers to is still standing, still owned by the police department, but sitting empty.  The streets are all blocked off around here, making it unpleasant to visit.

The station was part of an overall modernization of police facilities in the early Twentieth Century.

In turn, these Art-Deco stations were then abandoned in favor of three super patrol stations, each serving three districts for several decades.  Sadly, while some have been reborn, such as Mad Art, most of them sit empty.

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