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Sérgio Loreto Park

Virginia Barbosa 
Joaquim Nabuco Foundation Librarian
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At the end of the 18th Century, to resolve the constant problems of flooding caused by tidal variations on the route that took the public from the Cinco Pontas Fort to the settlement of Afogados, Governor D. Tomás José de Melo ordered repairs to the previously-constructed embankment. For these repairs, it was necessary to obtain sand, which was taken from a private lot next to the works. In these excavations, a fish pond was made, known as Viveiro do Muniz (Muniz’ Fish Pond), in reference to the landowner, Antônio José Muniz. It held many fish, but fishing in it was the governor’s privilege.
 
It was at this location in the neighbourhood of São José that, after several reclamations, Sérgio Loreto Park arose. Its original design, with its characteristics of English landscaping – curved lines imitating the lines of nature, delineating the lake, and sinuous walkways shaded by large trees and imposing imperial palm trees – was made in 1924, and its construction was overseen by Mayor Antonio de Góes, in 1926, in honour of the governor. Previously, the place had been called Praça do Muniz (Muniz Park), Campina do Bodé (Bodé Field) and Praça Siqueira Campos (Siqueira Campos Park). The park was considered the most beautiful garden in Recife: it had a bandstand in which music groups could perform concerts, there was the Ilha dos Amores (Lovers’ Island) and the garden walkway – known as ‘quem me quer’ (who wants me) – from where young men tried to woo the young women who passed by that way.
 
From 1971-1975, during the mayoralty of Augusto Lucena, the widening of Dantas Barreto Ave occurred, which mutilated part of the São José neighbourhood and the area around Sérgio Loreto Park. This was one of the changes that affected its original layout.
 
Sérgio Loreto Park is framed by Imperial St and by Sul Avenue, both extremely important for traffic flow in Recife. In it there is a polished-concrete monument in honour of the heroes of the Pernambuco Restoration by sculptor Abelardo da Hora, unveiled in 1975.

Over the years, the Park was forgotten by the municipal government and the general population no longer visited it. It became a hang-out for the homeless, storage place, “bathroom” and a place for selling and consuming drugs, which contributed greatly to the robberies that were constantly around its area.

After numerous complaints from the people, the municipal government took some necessary measures to revitalise it. The most recent began in mid-October of 2008 and finished in December of the same year: restoring the ground, benches, tables and rails; new lighting equipment; refurbishing the bandstand, rails, monuments and walkway that divides the central lake; improving the water reflection; access to the Park’s walkways adapted for special needs; creating ramps; removal of rusty grades; and painting of the whole area. And to assure the maintenance of all these improvements at Sérgio Loreto Park, the Masked Club Galo da Madrugada, who have a warehouse on Imperial St in front of the Park, are going to adopt it from 2009.
 
Recife, 20 January 2009.
(Updated on 14 September 2009).

Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.

SOURCES CONSULTED:

COSTA, Francisco Augusto Pereira da. Anais Pernambucanos. Recife: Arquivo Público Estadual, 1954. v. 6. p. 488.

ELLIOT, Berguedoff. São José, meu bairro. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 14 jan. 2009.

MAIS 3 praças serão reformadas. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 14 jan. 2009.

PRAÇA Sérgio Loreto. In: SÁ CARNEIRO, Ana Rita; MESQUITA, Liana de Barros. Espaços livres do Recife.  Recife: Prefeitura da Cidade, UFPE, 2000. p. 86-87.

PRAÇA Sérgio Loreto será "adotada". Disponível em: . Acesso em: 14 jan. 2009.

PREFEITO João Paulo inaugura reforma da Praça Sérgio Loreto. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 14 jan. 2009.  

SILVA, Aline de Figueirôa.  O projeto paisagístico dos jardins públicos do Recife de 1872 a 1973. Dissertação (Mestrado em Desenvolvimento Urbano) – Centro de Artes e Comunicação, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, 2007. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 14 jan. 2009.

HOW TO CITE THIS TEXT:

Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Sérgio Loreto Park. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009

 

 

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