Built in 1930, the Sunken Gardens was a Depression-era project, built on a former abandoned neighborhood dumpsite. The 1.5 acres were originally donated by the Seacrests, the Faulkners and the Freys -- long time Lincoln families.
As a part of a city program helping unemployed men to earn money, E.M. Bair hired crew members to work on this garden. The men worked eight-hour shifts, two days a week for a total of $6.40 per week.
Lincoln's "Rock Garden" (as it was originally called) reflected the popular 1930's trend for rock gardens in progressive communities. Rocks were used for the garden's skeleton and for structures like water fountains and retaining walls at different heights to create terraced levels.
In 1931, the Gardens were in full bloom with 416 trees and shrubs. Final construction cost for the Sunken Gardens was $2,500.
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