Overview of Central Park, photo by Werner Elmker
During Fairfield First Friday's in Aug 2017. Photo by Werner Elmker
Fairfield's Central Park was originally round, but in 1902 the streets were paved with brick into a square. See 1907 photo.
Before streetlights were installed it was dark in town. So in 1882 a 185-foot tower was built in the center of the square to light up the town - spectators came from miles around to see it. The tower was erected within two weeks of Thomas Edison's electric street lights in new York City. The tower lamps were powered by Fairfield's first electrical plant.
The six electric arc lamps had to be changed daily — kids clamored to help. See it here
But the tower became potentially dangerous and it was dismantled in 1910. By then streetlights helped light the square.
The tradition of lighting up the square continues today with the annual Christmas lighting displays. More photos of the square.
Cultural District status was approved by the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs in 2005. The monthly Fairfield First Friday's mission, held on and around the Square, is to Celebrate Creativity, Culture, and Community.