Friday, April 2, 2010

Lakeview Park Easter Basket or Floral Basket?

Here's something I haven't seen before: a vintage linen postcard of the Floral Basket in Lakeview Park. But don't true Lorainites usually refer to it as the Easter basket?

You might be surprised to learn that when the concrete icon was first unveiled in early April, 1941 (not 1937, as is commonly believed) it was referred to as a flower basket.

Here is the article from the Lorain Journal of Thursday, April 3, 1941.


Flowers to Bloom in Concrete 'Basket' Latest Addition to Lakeview Park

Flowers that bloom in the spring, (tra-la), will bloom in a three and a half ton concrete flower basket in Lakeview park this year.

The huge flower basket, looking for all the world like the concrete bands had been hand-woven, was put into place recently by the city park department at the extreme end of Lakeview park between the lawn bowling rink and West Erie av.

It is the handiwork of National Youth administration workers who spent many weeks completing the basket in the park department garage during the winter, according to Park Superintendent George Crehore.

The basket is 10 feet long, four feet wide and four feet high and has been placed on a pedestal approximately four feet high.

Flowers will be planted in the top and in openings in the sides of the basket, Crehore said. The basket is, or will be surrounded by a pool of water, or "moat," about two feet wide.

Another unusual piece of work which will grace the park drive this year is an ornamental wrought-iron decoration, painted silver, with a light in it which transforms it into something like an old-fashioned lantern.

Actually, the "lantern" is a made-over corner post decoration off the old Erie-av bridge. Three others will be placed in Lorain parks this summer, according to Crehore.


Strangely enough, the newspaper account did not mention the name of the man who designed the basket and received a patent for his creation: David Shukait.

Rona Proudfoot wrote the hands-down best article about the history of the Easter basket for the Chronicle-Telegram last Easter. It even featured a photo of my mother and sister in front of the basket as part of a montage.

And here is the Easter basket as it looks today, all set for the pilgrimage of people eager for their family photo this Sunday. The new bunny cutout is great!

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