Following up on my previous post, I’m visiting parks around my neighborhood and comparing their size to “Monopoly Park”, my name for the Salem Jail greenspace that some think is “dinky”.
This is Armory Park, dedicated in 2002 and built on the grounds of the former Salem Armory, which an arsonist burned in 1982.
Many people still have hard feelings about how the Peabody Essex Museum treated the Armory facade, which many people wanted preserved. I lived through this and the bitterness remains with older Salemmites to this day. Many of them vow never to visit the park ever again.
However, most users of the park are visitors knowing none of the history. It’s a popular area, now owned by the PEM, and a stop for tourist trolleys insures continuous foot traffic. I pass it every day and I would be lying if I said I never stopped there for a break in the spring or the summer. (Sometimes the PEM’s public Wifi leaks out the front entrance and into the park, on good days.)
Armory Park is a perfect square, measuring 146 feet on each side. It takes up 21,316 square feet.