History of Green Bay's Parks

Flatley Park

July 1966 - A request came to the Board of Park Commissioners to rename Bay Beach in honor of Adm. James H. Flatley, Jr. This was encouraged in a concerted effort made by veterans and patriotic organizations. However, the Park Commission also had some petitions from people who did not want the area renamed, and it was recommended that some other new park or parkway be named in his honor. To this end, a remnant of land from Gregby development downtown at the end of Cedar Street on the Fox River was dedicated named James H. Flatley, Jr. Memorial Park.

1968 - In June the City entered into an agreement with the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company to have some track retired and exchange some right-of-way so that a park area could be developed. The cost of development would come from HUD funds through the Redevelopment Authority and plans were drawn up. A memorial plaque and fountain were to be paid for from private donations raised by a committee headed by Harry Masse.

1975 - December 16 the park site was deeded to the City of Green Bay by the Redevelopment Authority by resolution, and a drive for funds got underway with Phil Hendrickson as Chairman. The Obelisk was a gift from Victor McCormick to the City of Green Bay. Bruce Grimes, artist in residence UW-Green Bay, was commissioned to design the memorial, and the Memorial Committee had to raise about $15,000 for the fountain.

The Memorial Committee was reorganized March 15, 1976 with Don Gaetz (Prange’s) as Chairman to plan and make arrangements for the dedication ceremonies. There were many meetings held and much work by community leaders to make this an occasion to remember. Weekend events started on June 25 with a reception honoring the Blue Angels at 7:30 p.m. followed by a gourmet banquet at 8:00 p.m. (by formal invitation only) at the H. C. Prange Terrace Room overlooking the park. Admiral J. L. Holloway III, Chief of Naval Operations, was the principal speaker. The Navy sent three gunboats and three patrol torpedo boats for the actual dedication, which was held at 9:30 a.m. on June 26 by unveiling the Obelisk with notables and family members participating. This was followed by a champagne brunch at 10:45 a.m. at Austin-Straubel Field before an air show put on by the Blue Angels. The Press Gazette published a commemorative issue, and the Tall Ship Erawan was anchored offshore of Flatley Park and open to the public commemorating the Bicentennial.

1978 - A flagpole was installed.

1990 - WPS donated land along the river to allow linking Flatley Parkway from Admiral Flatley Park to the Monroe Street Bridge to complete the parkway.

2006 - The Council approved allowing the park to be sold to Vetter Denk for constructing condominiums.

2008 - An area between the Chamber of Commerce and Fox River was designated as Admiral Flatley Park by the Common Council on May 20, 2008. The sign and obelisk from the original park were brought here, and the United Patriotic Society will pursue placing a statue to honor Admiral Flatley.


  1. Only annotated statements have been verified. Any other historical statements are unverified and based on personal knowledge or informal notes kept by the Green Bay Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department.
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