Cascades Park – Tallahassee’s Historic Centerpiece
The area that is today known as Cascades Park was an important landmark for Tallahassee long before the area’s official European settlement. Even before the Spanish arrived in Florida, Cascades was home to a natural water source that attracted Florida’s inhabitants. Today, what was once a gathering spot for the area’s thirsty travelers and hunters has emerged as the city’s latest and greatest attraction. The sprawling park is located less than a quarter of a mile from the state capitol building. The larger-than-life park features a fantastic amphitheater, multiple play-scapes, trails, and historical tributes.
Today, thanks to the efforts of Tallahassee and its many wonderful citizens, the important historical landmark is recognized once gain as the region’s dazzling centerpiece. The park’s significance to Florida history cemented its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Originally the cascades marked the place where a stream and a waterfall converged as the main attractor for the then territorial government. Because of the natural cascade, the government decided to place the capital city in Tallahassee in 1823.
Cascade Fountain And Meridian Plaza
The park commemorates Tallahassee’s historical foundation with the Cascade Fountain located adjacent the park’s center. The centerpiece of the park is Meridian Plaza. The center of the plaza marks the place from which all surveys of Florida are calculated.
Perhaps the most stunning feature of the park is the graceful Cascades Park Amphitheater. As the center of many of the city’s theatrical and musical events, the theatre boasts more than 1,500 seats and allows for overflow seating on the slopes that surround gorgeous white canopy.
For years, the park served as the home for many of Tallahassee’s sporting events. Centennial Field was first built 1924 as a commemoration for Tallahassee’s 100th anniversary. The field hosted political rallies, community events, and graduations. The field also served as the home for a semi-professional baseball team and the Florida State University football team.
In 1890, the Smoky Hollow community was first established and served as a thriving community in Tallahassee until the 1960s. Today, three “spirit houses” honor the shotgun homes that were once common in the neighborhood.