The Salem Rebuilding Commission decided to build a new public park bounded between Harbor, Lafayette and Washington Street after
the Salem Fire (June 25th 1914) decimated all the buildings in the area, including a Fire House which stood where the park sits today.
The park was established sometime between 1914 and 1917.
The 1916 City Documents listed the lot of land on Lafayette Street would be known as Lafayette Park.
In 1947, a monument Mourning Victory, by sculptor Joseph A. Coletti was placed in the middle of the park. This tall obelisk is carved
at its peak into a figure holding a sword at rest with a laurel wreath. The figure appears to possess wings and to radiate light.
The statue's inscription states that the monument is dedicated to the 2,105 veterans of both World Wars from St. Joseph Parish.
The park was redesigned in 1992, making it more accessible, with better sidewalks and more shade trees, plantings benches and walkways.
The park is again due for more work in 2017.
Also, find two MACRIS reports in the Vertical File, one for Lafayette Street Park and one for Mourning Victory monument.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Lafayette Park
Salem City Documents 1915 (p. 140) and 1916 (p. 103)
"Park design finalists share $1,000 in prizes" Salem Evening News, Nov. 10, 1992, p ?
"Lafayette Park to be dedicated Sunday" Salem Evening News, Oct. 15, 1993, p. 15
Mourning Victory Smithsonian art inventory