GROVE STREET OVERLOOK PARK
2nd Avenue & 10th Street
- River Overlook
- Park Benches
Newport's newest park is at the very end of 10th Street, just before it meets the Mississippi River. It was created through the work of Newport's City Council and
Heritage Preservation Commission, and was dedicated on June 18, 2005. This small park, a "passive use" park, is the perfect place to sit and listen to the birds sing
and watch the river go by.
The park is a small area, only about 50 feet wide by about 95 feet long. A winding, concrete path leads from the top of the overlook to its base next to the river, with
benches at the top and bottom. In summer 2004, youth and adult volunteers were recruited by the Heritage Preservation Commission to remove weeds and plant trees, bushes, and
flowers, most donated by Bailey Nurseries, along the north and south boundaries of the park.
Despite its small size, the river overlook has quite a history. The stone wall at the entrance of the overlook was constructed in 1938-1939 (as were the stone walls at
the Park Place and 12th Street overlooks) by the WPA. The WPA, Works Progress Administration, was a government program during the Great Depression to provide work for the
unemployed. These limestone walls are considered good examples of the WPA rustic landscape architecture and have been designated as Newport Heritage landmarks. Part of the
motivation to renovate the overlook was the need to stabilize and preserve the wall, which had begun to suffer from the uncontrolled overgrowth by tree roots and vines.
Although constructed with federal government funds, the three river overlooks have always been municipal property. They appear to have been actively used by the public
and maintained by the Village of Newport, until the 1940's. The Grove Street overlook was heavily damaged by floods, which caused the entire lower wall to be replaced by a
concrete bulkhead. Along with Pioneer Memorial Park, the overlooks were the original units of Newport's Parks System.
There is limited parking at Grove Street Overlook Park, so you might want to plan on parking your car on one of the side streets a block or two away. Better yet, if you
live nearby, walk to the park. It is the perfect destination if you are out for a stroll on a warm spring day, long summer
evening, or brisk fall afternoon.