Recreational Facility

Plans moving forward for establishing Maples Park in Crestwood, Ky.

Land for the park was donated
by the late Vincent Fanelli

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (March 2017) – The residents of Crestwood, Ky., may finally get a long awaited park in 2017. The Maples Park is in Phase 1 of planning and will provide more green space, walking trails and playgrounds for the public to enjoy.
The Maples Park is located between Hwy. 22 and Hwy. 146 and consists of 21 acres. “The full master plan includes walking paths, an amphitheatre, playground and bathroom facilities,” said project leader Grant Jones. He is an architect and planner with the firm of Jones Landscape Architecture.
There are also some barns that might be rented out for parties, etc., said Jones. As the project goes along, ideas “might develop into other things.”

Illustration provided

The Maples Park site is located between Hwy. 42 and Hwy. 146 near Crestwood, Ky.

Jones added, “We are in Phase 1 now.” This includes road infrastructure, establishing parking areas, bathroom facilities, hardscaping half of the trails (paving them), and plans for softscaping include mulching these areas.
The park is not open to the public currently due to several “things that might lead to safety issues, such as open wells and cisterns,” Jones said. One side of the property, which sits between Hwy. 22 and Hwy. 146, butts up against commercial property “and we want the two to work together.”
Jones expressed an interest in the project in 2009 when he read an article in the local paper that stated the city of Crestwood had purchased the property. He immediately called Mayor Dennis Deibel and said he would “love to participate in the planning phase of the project.”
Jones put together some ideas and took a look at the whole area, which encompasses Hwy. 329 and Hwy 146. But nothing could be done until the land donor, Vincent Fanelli, died. Fanelli had sold the property to the City of Crestwood in 2009 with two stipulations: that he would be able to live there until he died, and that it would never be developed.
When Fanelli died a couple of years ago, Jones contacted the city and revisited the project. There are several historic aspects Jones’ firm would like to maintain as well.  
The property was originally purchased by the Ott family in 1905. The original owner, Mr. Ott, was a partner in American Standard Plumbing and purchased the land as a present for his wife, said Jones.
“It contained 25 acres at one time, until Hwy. 22 came through,” he said. The Ott family raised Angus cattle and conducted farming on a small scale. “There are some nice building structures and a modern home on the property, and an old teahouse, which had a formal garden at one time.” There is also two playhouses complete with electricity and plumbing,
Fanelli married Mary Louise Ott in 1947 and eventually inherited the estate. He wanted to keep the land from being developed so that others could always enjoy it the way he did.
Fanelli, whose father was from Naples, Italy, was born in Anchorage, Ky., in an apartment above what was at the time the family business, Fanelli Grocery. They later moved to Cox’s Quarry (or Cox’s Lake), which they developed into a popular swim club. He spent 17 and half years with the U.S. Army Air Corp.
In 1960 the Fanellis moved to The Maples. In 2009, Fanelli was awarded the J. Chilton Barnett “Champion of Oldham County History Award” by the Oldham County Historical Society. He donated several train collections to the Historical Society, including the Ott Family Train Collection, as well as horse carriages that were once used in Oldham County.
Fanelli believed in giving back to his community. He was a past president, served on the Board of Directors, and held the position of district governor for the Lions Club, helped with the promotion of the Orchard Grass Festival in Crestwood in the 1950s and was honored with a Melvin Jones Fellowship. In addition, he belonged to the Masons, Scottish Rite and the Shriners.
The Maples Park property has been maintained by the City of Crestwood since it was purchased in 2009 for $2 million.

Jones had planned to send out bids in January 2017. He would like to break ground by the spring of next year to get the project moving.

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