The prequel to this article covered three of Richmond’s pocket parks: Lombardy, Meadow and Harrison Park. Three more in the Fan are visited here, each with their own distinct character.
Sydney Park is one of the smallest pocket parks in the city but boasts one of the best locations. Situated at the five point intersection where Floyd bends at North Morris, Sydney serves as a backyard to the popular Crossroads Café. While it contains little more than a couple of benches and trees, it exists as a perfect pocket park – beautifying an awkward spot of roads and giving a place to relax for passing pedestrians.
A spot centered more towards children’s recreation is Paradise Park, designed in 1974 by the prolific Williamsburg architect/artist Carlton Abbott. Nicknamed ‘Geometry Park’ for its simply shaped playground equipment playground equipment, the site is bounded by two alleys in the block between Floyd and Grove, Vine and Allen. The winding brick planters enclose a mostly hardscaped area, with many seats but little greenery.
Perhaps the most well known and liked of these pocket parks in the city, Scuffletown was founded the same year as Paradise, the two parks intended as sisters, and revitalized through volunteer efforts in 1999. Its lot, located between Stuart and Park, Strawberry and Stafford, boasts possibly the densest, widest variety, and most polished plantings of any pocket park in Richmond. Two small gardens are split by a brick walkway that connects seating areas at each end of the park. Its long history includes being the site of a local tavern and legend of a Revolutionary War “scuffle.”
For the next installment of the Pocket Parks series we will move outside the Fan, so be sure to check back.