Duncan Park

Mason Street and MacArthur Blvd

Duncan Park (formerly Douglas Park) is a 26-acre park added to the park system in 1920. It is located at the intersection of Mason Street and MacArthur Boulevard in central Springfield northwest of the downtown business area. It is bounded by Salome Avenue to the east and a commercial establishment to the north. A mix of mostly commercial with some residences surround the park.

In November 2020, the park was renamed after Col. Otis B. Duncan (1873-1937), a Springfield native who was the highest-ranking black officer to serve in the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe in World War I.

Duncan, came from a prominent black family in Springfield and his great grandfather was William Fleurville, Abraham Lincoln’s barber and friend. He joined the Illinois National Guard’s all-black Eighth Infantry Regiment in 1902. After returning home from WWI, Duncan was promoted to colonel in the National Guard and took over command of the Eighth Infantry.

In addition to his military service, Duncan worked for more than 20 years in the office of the Illinois Superintendent of Public Instruction. Duncan is buried at Camp Butler National Cemetery. American Legion Post 809 in Springfield is named after Duncan and now we hold this community park in his honor as well.

The land that Duncan Park sits on was purchased on September 10, 1920 from the Enos family. Duncan park has considerable topographic relief. Mature oaks, hickories, maples and other native trees are scattered throughout, creating a beautiful park environment.

The park has 3 parking lots, one along MacArthur Boulevard accommodating about 55 vehicles, one along Mason Street for about 90 vehicles and one along Salome for 50+ vehicles. There is no vehicular circulation through the park. A pedestrian path, however, extends from the MacArthur parking lot and brick shelter, past the band shell, to the Mason Street parking lot. The trail spurs south to the restrooms, newly renovated in 2019 - modern playground system, 3 picnic shelters and 8 pickleball courts. A new disc golf course winds through the park. A sledding hill is located to the northern part of the park.

The Senior Citizen Center and parking lot are located in the southeast corner of the park near the Walnut and Mason intersection.

Douglas Park
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