In 1856, liberal benefactor and would be artist, Edmund Trowbridge Dana―the son of Chief Justice Francis Dana (who was an important landowner and active in politics after the Revolutionary War)―bestowed to Cambridge the property now known as Dana Square Park. He made the gift upon the condition that the land be planted with trees and forever remain a public park. The Park was enlarged when the Willard School, built in 1870, was demolished in 1957.
Over the last century-and-a-half, Dana Square Park has fallen several times into severe neglect. The most recent improvements were completed in 2004.
Today the Park has a small picnic area, with water feature bronze fixtures by artist David Phillips, a playground and basketball court.
Source: Historical Commission Cambridge