Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
Designed: 1868 – 1870 by Olmsted and Vaux; Redesigned: 1895 by Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot | Location: Bordered by Northampton, Best, N. Parade, E. Parade and W. Parade Streets; Fillmore Avenue runs through the park
In the early days, MLK Jr. Park was intentionally designed for activities such as a field for military drills and sporting events, as well as a large children’s playground. The Parade House, a magnificent restaurant, beer hall, and dance hall designed by Vaux, opened here in 1876 and immediately became a popular attraction for all of Buffalo’s diverse population. In an age when immigrants were arriving daily, such places, Olmsted thought, fostered the spirit of democracy.
In 1895, the Olmsted firm redesigned the park, replacing the Parade grounds with a nearly five acre reflecting pool, a basin for water plants and large fountain. The revised park also became known for its floral displays. Significant features of the park include the Conservancy’s working greenhouse and the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Plaza. Learn more about your Buffalo Olmsted Park System at the official map & guide.
The Making of a Monument Exhibit
In collaboration with the Buffalo African American Museum, the MLK Shelter House (beside the MLK Monument Plaza) is home to an exhibit about the MLK Jr. bust. View it online here.
Photo: Unveiling of the MLK Jr. bust at MLK Jr. Park, Oct 1, 1983
Thanks to the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, KaBOOM! and over 250 volunteers, we were able to build an inclusive playground at MLK Jr. Park, at the corner of North Parade and Fillmore Avenue. Click below to watch a timelapse video of the Community Build Day on September 20, 2019!
Summer Perk: Enjoy the Sunshine & Splash Pad
The MLK Jr. Park Splash Pad is open over the summer through Labor Day, Monday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., weather dependent.
New social distancing and safety protocols will be implemented this year due to Covid-19.
– Entrances and Exits will each have a one-way location to assist with density levels
– Spray heads within the basin will operate 6ft. apart
– City attendants and security guards will be on site daily
– Footwear is required when in the Splash Pad
– Adult supervision is required for minors
– Use hand sanitizer before/after play
– Practice cough/sneeze etiquette
– Unwell? Stay home. If you have symptoms, call the Erie County Covid-19 hotline: 716-858-2929
Support Your Parks
Our members are the core of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. With your unrestricted gift to the annual fund, our dedicated team takes care of the 850 acres of Olmsted green spaces in Buffalo. We count on your financial support to keep the Olmsted Parks clean, open spaces where Buffalonians continue to play, exercise and enjoy nature together.
Planning Your Visit
One giant splash pad/ice rink
(4) Tennis Courts
(2) Basketball Courts
(8) Picnic Shelters
The Humboldt Basin (Splash Pad)
Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Plaza
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is responsible for the rental of the Parkside Lodge, the fenced picnic area next to the Parkside Lodge, croquet courts in Delaware Park, the Japanese Garden in Delaware Park and the Crotty Casino in Cazenovia Park.
The Marcy Casino and Rose Garden in Delaware Park is rented through Magnolia Events.