Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a
land acknowledgement from the city and learn more about the early history of the land
Originally a gas station, the City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Unit purchased this site in 1974 in order to create a park. It was referred to as the Packard/Arch Park until 1980 when it was renamed for Franklin C. Forsythe. Forsythe was the founder and the first president of the Ann Arbor Jaycees. The site was acquired using a HUD (federal) grant for “in-city parks." The design was a cooperative effort between the city, the Jaycees and the Burns Park Community Association. The park has been adopted by the Ann Arbor Jaycees and several members of the Jaycees spearheaded the drive to name the park after Forsythe. He was at the ribbon cutting in 1980, a year before he died.
Forsythe was an Ann Arbor attorney and President of the YMCA (1943) in addition to his work with the Jaycees. In the 1940s he lived at 1601 Granger. His wife was Jessie and his children were Peter and J. Michael. In 1956 his mid-century modern house at 500 Barton Shore Drive, designed by local architect Bob Metcalf, was featured in the Ann Arbor News. His wife was a University of Michigan graduate and in 1949 established the Forsythe Gallery (for art) in the Nickels Arcade. It was open until the mid-1980s.