City parks have always been an important part of his life Frank E. Reilly told a crowd yesterday afternoon at Lincoln Park at a celebration of the completion of the first phase of the restoration of Portland’s oldest park. Whether it was Central Park or the Golden Gate Park, as a city dweller, parks were important to Frank. So when he saw the neglected Lincoln Park, he wondered if there were any chance of restoring it to its original condition. The response from community leaders he asked was in the affirmative. So the self-described spear carrier rolled up his sleeves and got to work!
Ethan Hipple, Director of Portland Parks, told the crowd that the restoration is not complete. Twelve more trees will be planted and Worlds Fair Benches are yet to be installed. Holiday lights for the Park will be provided by Pandora LaCasse, outdoor lighting guru for Portland. Events are planned to help “bring the Park alive,” according to Hipple and will be announced at a later date.
Lincoln Park, originally called Phoenix Park, was established following the disasterous July 4, 1866 fire to provide a fire wall as well as to provide a “common gathering place” for city residents Deb Andrews, of the city’s Historic Preservation Office, said. The park was the first in the city and the neighborhood came later she said. “This was a cherished place when it was new.”
Portland resident Lucas St. Clair said it was the first fountain that his daughter ever waded in. He recently established the Portland Park Conservancy, a non-profit, dedicated to enhancing Portland public parks. He is the son of Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt’s Bees. A Democrat, he has purchased a home in northern Maine and is running for the US Congress for the Second District. Go Lucas!
The Reilly’s owned an advertising business in San Francisco. Frank also acted in more than a dozen feature films opposite Carol Burnett, Clint Eastwood, Valerie Harper, Elliot Gould, Loni Anderson and others. The couple moved here about fourteen years ago and became residents of the West End of Portland.
For more background information herein, please see posts dated: 4/9/17, 11/25/16, 11/28/16 and 5/6/13.