About Manhattan Square
The Manhattan Square Neighborhood has a modern urban park known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park. It’s surrounded by high-rise apartment buildings, a major museum, and office towers. Constructed in the ’70s, the park’s major features include a towering steel viewing platform and a sunken fountain area with a concert stage designed for free outdoor concerts. In winter months the park features a popular outdoor ice skating rink and sledding on its many small hills.
The adjacent Strong Museum is one of the preeminent children’s museums in North America, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to its interactive exhibits and collections of everyday American artifacts.
Prior to the urban renewal demolition of the sixties and the construction of the sunken Inner Loop Highway, the area occupied by Manhattan Square was a part of a residential neighborhood of houses and tenements that linked downtown to the Alexander/East area. Their demolition created the open space that is now occupied by the park, The Strong Museum and residential high rises.
The capital improvement project at Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park features a renovated fountain pool that doubles as a winter skating rink and the restoration of the parks large sunken fountain & waterfall centerpiece. Learn about the planned Inner Loop East Project which consists of filling in a portion of the Inner Loop to create pedestrian-friendly city streets and large stretches of developable land. Such a move would reconnect the neighborhood’s severed streets with Downtown proper.