July 25, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

Park Central Plaque Commemorates "Wild Bill's" Gunfight

As part of the final renovations to Park Central Square, an historic marker commemorating the famous 1865 shootout between "Wild Bill" Hickok and Dave Tutt has been installed at the southwest corner of the outer Square sidewalk, near the Park Central Branch Library.

The plaque is a 30-by-24-inch piece of engraved aluminum with custom artwork and a description of the circumstances surrounding the duel, which began over a pocketwatch used as a collateral for a gambling debt and ended in Tutt's death. Hickok was uninjured and was acquitted of manslaughter by a jury after a three-day trial. Hickok is one of the Old West's most enduring figures thanks to his exploits as a soldier, gambler, gunfighter, and lawman. Download a PDF image of the plaque engraving.

The renovation of Park Central Square continues on schedule. The one-year project began in November 2010 and is nearly at the 75 percent completion mark. Much of the work to this point has been in the form of infrastructure improvements, but visible signs of the restoration are now more apparent to the public, including new concrete signage and improved pedestrian access. New landscaping and sidewalks will go in soon.

A lasting work of one of America's premier landscape architects, the project will restore and rehabilitate the work of Mr. Lawrence Halprin rather than redesign and build over. The final plans remove many non-historical additions and replace elements that had been lost over the intervening four decades, restoring what was, in the words of Mr. Halprin, "an active space for public assembly, devoted to pedestrians and their needs and comforts." This is the first update to the Square in four decades. The Square was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2010 and will be preserved in this state for generations to come.

The $1.78 million project is made possible by a $1.2 million Department of Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Initiative grant. The remainder is paid for by the City's voter-approved 1/4-cent Sales Tax for Capital Improvements. The general contractor is Carson-Mitchell, Inc. Plans were prepared by Butler-Rosenbury & Partners, Inc.

For more information, contact: Jonathan Gano, Assistant Director of Public Works – Operations, (417) 864-1961; or Mike Brothers, Co-Interim Director of Public Information, (417) 864-1119.

city of springfield

Department of Public Works

840 Boonville Avenue • P.O. Box 8368 • Springfield, MO 65801
417-864-1900 • springfieldmo.gov