Michigan's finest civic square and a welcome oasis in downtown Kalamazoo is Bronson Park. It is named for Kalamazoo's founder Titus Bronson, who donated land for this purpose. The first plat of the town shows “academy square” and “courthouse square” to the east of the park and “jail house square” and “church square” to the west. In 1876 the undeveloped central space, which held an Indian mound, was improved with plantings and a fountain. In 1939, the concrete fountain sculpture, The Fountain of the Pioneers, by designer and sculptor Alfonso Iannelli, who created the sprites for Frank Lloyd Wright's Midway Gardens project, was installed. In 1976, the bronze statue group Children May Safely Play by local artist Kirk Newman was placed in the long reflecting pool included in the original design by Iannelli. Fronting the park are churches, government buildings, and clubs.
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