Abraham Lincoln deserves to have a park named in his honor in Bloomington and the park outside the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts is a good location.
Bloomington Mayor Steve Stockton's suggestion to name the park for Abe is a good idea.
Considering the many ties Bloomington has to Lincoln, it is amazing there isn't already a "Lincoln Park" in the Twin Cities.
After all, this is the place where Lincoln gave his famous "lost speech," the place where he and many of his close associates practiced law. Several buildings with ties to Lincoln remain standing.
This is the place is where newspaper publisher Jesse Fell helped persuade him to run for president. It is the place where his close friend Judge David Davis, who Lincoln appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court after becoming president, built a home that is still visited today.
The Twin Cities already have not one, but two, parks named for Jesse Fell - one in Bloomington, one in Normal.
Give Abe his due.
The triangular-shaped park in front of the BCPA is currently referred to as Festival Park.
That name is descriptive of the events the city plans to have in that area near the corner of East and Locust streets as part of the Cultural District. However, it doesn't carry the same weight and historic value as Lincoln Park would.
Another good reason for the name change is a plan for a life-size statue in the park that would have Lincoln flanked by Fell and Davis. The plan calls for various quotations from Lincoln to be inscribed in the sidewalks leading to the statue from various directions.
This statue will complement one just down the road on the grounds of the McLean County Museum of History, where visitors can share a bench with the 16th president and one inside the McLean County Law and Justice Center.
The possibility of making Bloomington more attractive to tourists who are Lincoln fans cannot be overlooked. The David Davis Mansion, about a mile east of the park site, is among the top Lincoln-related attractions in Illinois.
But tourism isn't the driving force for the name change. Rather, naming the park after Lincoln is the right thing to do.
The new name would appropriately recognize Bloomington's ties to Lincoln and would, in effect, complete the package with the planned statue.