The City Council on Monday officially designated land along Weatherred Drive as a neighborhood park and named it Durham Park, in honor of W.R. Durham and his daughter, Jessie. W.R. Durham began operating a farm in 1910 in the area that contains the park, and Jessie Durham inherited the farm house when her father died. She also operated a shop on Main Street where she started the first library in Richardson in the back of her store.
The Durhams sold all of the land except one acre to a developer in 1954. Their land became the site of the Heights neighborhood and Richardson Heights Shopping Center as the City grew rapidly in the 1950s. Members of the Durham family still live in Richardson and attended Monday’s City Council meeting, where they were recognized for their contributions to the City.
Construction of the $1.5 million park, which is funded through the 2010 Bond Program, began in December and is expected to be complete in May. The new park will be located on four contiguous lots from 400 to 406 S. Weatherrred Dr. and will include a playground, pavilion, plaza, open play lawn and butterfly garden. Some of the features will include bricks from the four homes that were demolished to make room for the park.