- The park is adjoined by Ostrom Avenue, Madison Street, and South Beech Street.
- E.M. Mills Memorial Rose Garden
At the time the City purchased Thornden park, the beloved president of the Syracuse Rose Society and American Rose Society, Dr. E.M. Mills, was seriously ill. In his absence, the idea of a municipal rose garden, named for him and commemorating his services to American rose-growing, enlisted the Society's keenest enthusiasm. The garden was established with an effort to meet three requirements: a) harmony of color, b) the hardiness required by our climate, and c) such wide variety of types and kinds as to be educational to the rose-lovers who visit our city. For more photos and information, please visit the Syracuse Rose Society.
- Swimming Pool
The pool at Thornden park is a 50 meters long, six lanes outdoor pool, with a capacity of 499 bathers. The water depth ranges from 3 feet 6 inches to 7 feet, and children must be a minimum of 3 feet 6 inches to swim. The pool also has a children's spray fountain.
- Athletic Fields and Courts
Thornden Park has 1 multi-purpose athletic field (football/soccer/lacrosse).
Thornden Park has 4 tennis courts and 3 basketball courts.
Playground consisting of swings, slides, seesaws, and climbing bars.
- Monday Mile Trail
- This Rose Garden in Thornden Park, near Syracuse University, is THE favorite wedding location in our parks system. The roses are at their peak in June, and fill the park with breathtaking color.
Please note: If you need chairs, you would be responsible for obtaining, transporting and removing them from the site. No chairs should be placed in the rose beds. We discourage tenting in the Rose Garden. Please do not staple, tape or nail anything in or on the gazebo structure or the rose arbors. The Gazebo in Thornden Park's Rose Garden does not have any power source. If you foresee the need for power, you must make arrangements for a generator.
- The Lily Pond is situated at the top of a brick staircase across from the Rose Garden, on your left as you enter the park from Ostrom Avenue. The long brick staircase, flanked by brick columns, is a dramatic entranceway for any bride. At the top of the staircase, there is a grassy area surrounded by a ring of evergreens. A small waterfall with an adjacent English garden make for a beautiful backdrop, and atop the waterfall, near a second small staircase, is a concrete bench, a perfect setting for picture-taking. Please note: There is a power source at the Lily Pond. If you wish power, please indicate so on the application form. There is an electrical hook-up fee of $20.00 Tents are restricted, but if you wish to use one, please note this on your application in the comments section.
- These spaces must be reserved through the City's Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Programs (315) 473-4330. The Parks department will provide a permit application and waiver form, and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
Romance and tragedy marked the beginnings of this pleasure ground park. The Haskins family purchased 76 acres of prime farmland in 1854 to serve as their their home until tragic and untimely death struck the family. In 1873 the property was acquired by Major Alexander Davis whose gardener planted a wide variety of shrubs such as lilacs and rhododendrons. Specimen trees were planted in groves, and extensive perennial plantings were complemented by sunken formal gardens. In 1921 the City of Syracuse purchased the estate and dedicated it as parkland; it was described as a "park ready-made - a mature landscape of informal groves and picturesque water features and land forms." In 1923 the beautiful E.M. Mills Rose Garden was constructed, which heralded the advent of much activity - a pool was installed, the amphitheater built, and a pinetum and herb garden established. Adjacent to the rose garden is an annual and perennial garden with an attractive lily pond and waterfall. At the top of the historically landscaped park, one can watch a magnificent sunset overlooking Onondaga Lake.