A clock tower sits on top of a stone wall in Central Falls.

Central Falls Jenks Park getting an upgrade

Mayor Maria Rivera has announced that that “Jenks Park is getting a HUGE upgrade! After lots of planning and receiving CDBG funds, a RIDEM recreation grant, and a RIHPHC historic preservation grant, we’re bringing our city a beautifully renovated space.”

From a new, expanded playground, to new café tables and seating for families, to significant landscaping improvements, new sidewalks, and more, the first phase of upgrades to our historical park – a symbol of Central Falls – will create an incredible outdoor space for all to enjoy in our city. Renovations will begin on September 11, and we anticipate the above mentioned work will be completed this spring.

The lower section of the park that includes the playground (Washington and Fletcher Street access points) will be temporarily closed during these significant upgrades. The rest of Jenks Park will remain accessible. The historic Cogswell Tower will see amazing upgrades in the next phase of renovations, beginning next year, and plans for upgrades to the rest of the park are already underway.

Take a look at the play structures that our new, expanded playground will include (below)! I’m looking forward to seeing this huge improvement finally come to life for the city.

About Jenks Park

Located at the corner of 602 Broad Street & Washington Street, Jenks Park was built in 1890, it sits on 4.5 acres and is home to Cogswell Tower, Central Falls’ most prominent feature. This “city beautiful”  park provides both active and passive recreation and scenic views of the surrounding landscape from Cogswell Tower. The Tower is open to the public periodically throughout the year during City events in the park.


Built in 1890 by Albert Humes, Jenks Park was a gift to the city from Alvin Jenks, a descendent of early industrialist Captain Stephen Jenks.Its picturesque walkways take visitors away from the modern world (and the City Hall that abuts it),leading them past iron umbrellas and up toward Cogswell Tower, for over a century the defining symbol of the City of Central Falls.

A bequest by Caroline Cogswell led to the construction in 1904 of the eponymously-named tower, whose four clock faces provide unparalleled views of the city in all four directions. Standing almost seventy feet tall, the tower is supported by a brick barrel vault that rests atop historic Dexter’s Ledge.

Dexter’s Ledge was originally known as Quinsniket, a rocky ledge with a commanding view of the valley below and a key role in King Philip’s War. Due to a series of land disputes and broken peace treaties between the local natives and early English settlers, King Philip’s War had erupted in 1675. It was at the base of Quinsniket that Nanunteenoo, better known as Canonchet, Chief Sachem of the Narragansett, held his council fires in preparation for one of the most notorious attacks in the war.

On March 26, 1676, Nanunteeno’s scouts atop Quinsniket spied colonial troops and allied Native Americans approaching. Leading this band of 83 men was Captain Michael Pierce, a former ensign under Miles Standish. The sixty-year-old Pierce and his forces soon were in full pursuit of what appeared to be a small party of wounded warriors. Unfortunately for Pierce and his forces, these “wounded” warriors were but decoys, and the colonialists found themselves ambushed by Nanunteenoo’s forces on the eastern side of the Blackstone River. More unfortunately still for Pierce and his men, their efforts to escape the ambush by crossing the river to its western side led to an even bigger ambush by hundreds of Narragansett warriors. By the end of “Pierce’s Fight,” as it came to be known, Pierce and all but ten of him men were dead, the survivors taken away to be tortured, with but one survivor to tell the tale.

Placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in September, 1979, the park and tower are a perfect destination not only for their silent witness to an epic era in the region’s history but for those looking for a picnic or meditative stroll amidst an otherwise busy day. And with the recent relighting of Cogswell Tower, the park is an ever better host to festivals celebrating the ethic diversity that unites us.

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