William C. Durant was one of Michigan's most important industrialists and the founder of the General Motors Corporation. In 1919 Durant purchased this three-acre city block, once the estate of Mortimer Cowles, an Eaton Rapids carpenter who worked on the state capitol. Durant hired Kalamazoo landscape contractor Charles Maxon to create an urban Park. (Maxson also landscaped the Durant Motors Company's 500,000-square-foot facility on Verlinden Avenue in the City of Lansing.) In 1921 Durant donated the property to the city of Lansing as a park for north side residents. The park included flowerbeds and trees, serpentine concrete pathways, and a circular fountain basin in the center of the park. A parade marked the dedication on June 23, 1921.