Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Electric Park

Owned by Arthur Gaulker and family, Electric Park was an amusement park in Detroit from 1906 to 1928.  Located at the entrance to Belle Isle in what is now Gabriel Richard Park (built in 1928), the park went through numerous name changes including: Luna Park, Riverview Park, and Granada Park.  Originally a trolley park at the end of three streetcar lines, the park contained a large windmill at the entrance with a sign that read, “The Boardwalk: Just for Fun.”

The park contained several roller coasters, a giant Ferris wheel, performers, and the well-known Palais de Danse, a dance hall built over the Detroit River.  Distinguished bands, which included the Sousa Band formed by John Phillip Sousa, played at the Palais de Danse along with his rivals: the Guiseppe Creatore’s Band, and the Rosati Royal Italian Band.

The Palais de Danse burned down in 1911 and the park went through many legal battles which threatened the ownership and existence of the park during the 1920s.  The city of Detroit condemned many of the park’s rides and buildings, and closed the park completely in 1927.

Written by Stacy Newman

 


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Entrance to Electric Park, postcard, 1909

Electric Park postcard, 1906

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