OWLS’ NEST PARK HISTORY
Owls’ Nest Park is named for the former estate located on the property. The sons of Reverend James H. Perkins (1810 – 1849) donated the land to the City of Cincinnati in 1905. Perkins was a well known early Cincinnatian, having written Annals of the West in 1846, an early history of the area. Upon donating the land, the Perkins sons stipulated it would be named “Owls’ Nest Park”, the name Perkins had given to his estate.
Upon receiving the park in 1905, the City made several improvements. An elegant wrought iron fence was built along the entire Madison Road frontage. The fence featured brick pillars in the style of the famous Harvard Gates in Boston. The Perkins estate was torn down at this time, but the numerous stately trees remained. In the summer of 1932 the shelter building was completed and open for use.
The wrought iron fencing was removed during World War II and was submitted as scrap material to the war effort. At this time 16 columns were lowered from their original height of 8 feet to 4 ½’. In 1975 most of the columns were removed from the park. The removal of the columns was done to open up the park visually along Madison Road.
OWLS’ NEST PARK RENOVATION
Beginning in 2005 an exciting community effort has been organized to restore Owls’ Nest Park. Recently, a group of residents from the neighborhoods surrounding the park, Evanston, East Walnut Hills and the O’Bryonville business district, have formed the Owl’s Nest Park Advisory Council. The mission of the council is to improve the beauty, accessibility, recreational/educational activities and community-building opportunities of Owl’s Nest Park.
One of the greatest assets of the park is its location on the border of two different neighborhoods, Evanston and East Walnut Hills and at the edge of the O’Bryonville business district. It is also nearby to the neighborhoods of Hyde Park and Walnut Hills. In addition, the park is across the street from Cincinnati’s Academy of World Languages and close to seven other public and private schools. St. Margaret’s Hall is directly adjacent to the park and other residential care facilities are located within a short distance. The south edge of the park is along busy Madison Road, a revived arterial connecting Uptown to the many East Side neighborhoods. The north edge of the park is along residential Fairfax Avenue, a key east-west connector through Evanston.