Gridley Park is the heart of the West Bayfront. This historic community park, at the intersection of Liberty Street and West 6th Street, provides space for residents to enjoy the beautiful surroundings, a gathering space for community events, a play space for children, and a central focal point for residential neighborhoods that surround it.
It’s now time for a fresh look at Gridley Park! This summer, OWB will launch a community conversation about the park. With support from Erie Episcopal, OWB will be working with Dahlkemper Landscape Architects and the City of Erie to develop a concept plan for a park that will be the guide for future improvements.
Since summer of 2023, OWB has been working with neighbors to prepare a plan for improvements at Gridley Park to guide future investments in this important community green space. Based on feedback from the OWB 2022 Community Survey and guided by a resident committee who have met several times since September, Dahlkemper Landscape Architects has created a draft plan for Gridley Park.
The plan focuses on changes that will make it safer to access and use the park such as pedestrian improvements and lighting. Landscaping and thoughtfully planted trees would highlight the historical design, while new amenities including open play field, additional seating, and an expanded natural playground meet the needs of all residents.
As this is only a draft plan, please visit our Gridley Park draft survey to share your feedback. Let us know what you like, what you’d change, and what improvements should happen first!
Here is our 2016 Our West Bayfront Community Plan recommendations regarding Gridley Park, which will provide a foundation for the concept plan to be completed this year.
Gridley Park History
- The current site of Gridley Park was surveyed and mapped out in Erie’s original plan by Andrew Ellicott, which was commissioned in 1794
- The original city plan laid out three sections, each one square mile, stretching from the bayfront until 12th Street. In the center of each of these sections would be a square for public use, and these sites would end up being Perry Square, Wayne Park, and Gridley Park.
- Over the span of a century, the land near the park was settled, and a natural elevation change and ravine near the present site was filled in near the end of the 1800s. However, the park remained undeveloped into the 1900s.
- The park space was originally named Cascade Park. In 1913, the central monument to Captain Charles Vernon Gridley was created in his honor, and the neighborhood school “Public School No. 10” was renamed after him. Years later the park would also be renamed for Gridley.
- Captain Gridley saw combat in the Spanish-American War, and was present at the Battle of Manila Bay as the commanding officer of the fleet’s flagship Olympia. He died a few weeks later due to an illness.
- Gridley was not an Erie native, but was stationed in Erie and married into an Erie family. His funeral service was held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, and he is buried in Lakeside Cemetery.