Smile Politely

Year of the Park, A to Z: Moore Park, Champaign

As Year of the Park continues, we will be documenting every park in Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy, Champaign County Forest Preserves, along with other odds and ends between July 2020 and more like August or September 2021. You can see what has been covered thus far by clicking here. If you have suggestions or ideas or feedback, feel free to contact us at [email protected].


Moore Park 


578 W. Windsor Rd, Champaign

a pond in Moore Park

Photo by Maddie Rice. 


Harlan E. Moore, the man who donated this 2.9 acres to the Champaign Park District to leave a bit of green space as part of his legacy, was something of a titan around these parts. Goddamn I love it when I can google this stuff and it’s like BOOOOOOOOOM! here’s the info. 

And it arrived by way of the University of Illinois system, because he and his wife Theresa did a lot more than donate a small park to the community as well. I’d retell it here but why do that when I can just copy and paste and block quote that ish? 

Harlan E. “Ed” Moore (1885-1979), raised in Mt. Sterling, Ill., was a leader in the building materials business and a philanthropist in Champaign, Ill.

From 1918 to 1933, Moore was a sales representative for the Champaign branch of the Johns-Manville Lumber Co. In 1933 he formed Harlan E. Moore and Co., which was the first U.S. company to offer building materials wholesale. Moore also owned the Fisher (Ill.) Lumber Co., and farms in Piatt and Brown Counties.

Moore donated a portion of the Piatt County farm to create the Harlan E. Moore Heart Research Foundation, which used hogs as research specimens. He and his wife Theresa also donated generously to the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, establishing the Theresa E. and Harlan E. Moore Collection, which includes many ancient Greek vases.

Part I of the collection contains personal papers of and biographical material about Harlan E. Moore. Part II contains correspondence and material relating to the administration and finances of the Harlan E. Moore and Co. Part III contains correspondence and material relating to the administration, finances, legal cases, and philanthropy of the Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust as well as material pertaining to the Fisher Lumber Co. and to Moore’s farms. Part IV contains correspondence and material regarding the administration and research of the Harlan E. Moore Heart Research Foundation.

Dan Eaton, a trustee of the Foundation, donated the collection to the Library in 2003-2004.

Anyhow, this park features a lovely little walking path, a weird and very interesting sculpture called “New Holland Yellow Dinosaur” by Matt Moyer, brought to you by the now defunct Public Art League, courtesy of James Barham, who, by the way, has donated tons of old coin to serving CU with loads of public art. A high five and a jager bomb for that man! 

modern art sculpture in Moore Park

Photo by Maddie Rice. 


I do like this little park, very much. I don’t often go there, and honestly, have only been once for a weird reason I won’t bore you about, but it was nice to revist it recently. Most times, I would just go to Mattis Park which is basically connected to it due north, but this is its own park in its own rite. 

a walking path with trees in Moore Park

Photo by Maddie Rice. 

Not a ton to explore, but really a great place to walk around on a brisk autumn afternoon. Give it a shot, y’hear? 

Top image by Maddie Rice. 

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