Driving around Highland Avenue brought me to this unique park and I was so smitten I had to bring Sweet Pea and the camera back with me the next day.
I’m not certain when the park was first developed, but I can confirm that a restoration project began in the late ’90s and was complete just a few years ago. (This is promising and leads me to believe there are more pretty, preserved parks out there just waiting for me to enjoy.)
The park’s namesake, Rufus Napoleon Rhodes, established himself in the Magic City first through a career in law and then by creating and publishing what is known today as The Birmingham News. Rhodes built himself one heck of a house to celebrate his successes. Where, you ask? Atop Rhodes Circle, of course. Although the house is no longer standing, this park honors his contribution to the Magic City.
On my visit to Rhodes, pansies and lettuces were freshly planted around the gated urn in the middle of the park, a sign that special attention is given to this historical marker and that the Birmingham community must take pride in its history and its future. I couldn’t help but wonder if Rufus himself eternally resides there in that urn, but the history books (a.k.a.- the “world wide web”) tells me he’s laid to rest at Elmwood Cemetary…
From what I can tell, the park is dog-friendly, but due to the steep incline up to the street, is a little tricky with a stroller or anything with wheels. It’s a great spot for a brown bag lunch, so now all I need to find is a great market that’s footsteps away.