Lamar Louise Curry Park

Lamar Louise Curry 2
Lamar Louise Curry

Upon her death, former member Lamar Louise Curry bequeathed $200,000 to our club, requesting that we use it in partnership with the City of Coral Gables to beautify prominent areas with flowers for many to enjoy. The triangular plot of city land in front of Venetian Pool at 2665 De Soto Boulevard was chosen by our club and the City to turn into a flowering park. This spot was officially named on October 9, 2018, Lamar Louise Curry Park by the City Commission.

Remarkably almost four years to the day, the Coral Gables Garden Club and the City of Coral Gables had their ribbon cutting on October 15, 2022. It was a lovely ceremony with President Susan Rodriguez, past Presidents Betsy Tilghman, Sharon Trbovich, and Judy Mangasarian, members of the club, and residents enjoying a catered special event in Ms. Curry's honor. City Officials Mayor Lago, Commissioners Mena and Anderson, along with past Mayor Dorothy Thomson, and past Mayor Don Slesnick, Estate Executor Audrey Ross attended, and Mayor Slesnick gave the keynote address as he was Ms. Curry's pupil at Miami Senior High School, class of '61.

We hope the residents enjoy the park filled with flowering shrubs and trees that Ms. Curry adored. Two Dwarf Ylang Ylang trees grace the entrance along with Lignum Vitaes, Red Orchid trees, and her favorite Royal Poinciana in yellow. In the Fall, you will see the beautiful Muhly grass in all its glory, with waves of lilac swaying over the rock pond. The garden club installed a little library so residents will enjoy this peaceful park, observe the flowers and share a book. The club also contributed to the purchase of and installation of trees and planting materials in the two grand oolite planters on either side of the park,

We are grateful to the landscape designer Michael Connor from the firm of  Calvin, Giordano, & Associates, Inc., who conceived a perfect design that Ms. Curry would have enjoyed, and to the Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments, who have collaborated with the garden club at every turn and who will continue to maintain this park for generations to come.


Who was Miss Curry?

Lamar Louise CurryLamar Louise Curry was a teacher, historian, storyteller, and philanthropist who left her mark on South Florida in many ways. She was a beloved Coral Gables Garden Club member for 42 years and contributed generously to the club's projects. Other beneficiaries of her philanthropy were Miami's Bayfront Park, College of the Ozarks, Historical Museum of South Florida, University of Miami Women's Guild, Marathon Garden Club, United Methodist Church, Children's Home, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and many others. As a teacher, she was loved for her ability to make history come alive. In her classroom, history wasn't just a set of dry facts; instead, it was a series of stories about real people and the events in their lives. When she died in 2012 at 105, Miss Curry's broad range of influence included her generous giving in her lifetime and the profound effect she had on her students and all who knew and loved her.

The Entrance to the Lamar Louise Curry Park

The Entrance to the Lamar Louise Curry Park

Members Commissioner Rhonda Anderson, Jeanette Slesnick, Audrey Ross, Jo Wanda Peterson, Julie Connor, Maria Ason, Judy Mangasarian, Susan Rodriguez, Carolyn Durham, Sharon Trbovich, and Fran Reid.

Lignum Vitae

Dwarf Ylang Ylang Tree

A little library was donated to the park by the garden club.

Vice May Mena, Mayor Lago, President Susan Rodriguez and Commissioner Rhonda Anderson

Past Mayor Don Slesnick, Mayor Vince Lago, Past Mayor Dorthy Thomson, Commissioner Rhonda Anderson, Audrey Ross,Vice Mayor Mena and Susan Rodriguez

Mayor Lago, with Past Presidents Judy Mangasarian, Sharon Trbovich, Betsy Tilghman and President Susan Rodriguez

Ana Lam, Sherry Jordan, Marlin Ebbert

Susan Rodriguez, President

Past President Betsy Tilghman

Estate executer Audrey Ross

Past Mayor Don Slesnick giving the keynote speech

Bench was donated to the park by Don Slesnick in honor of his teacher.