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Park Pentagram: Devil or Decoration?

An artist's rendering shows the entrance to the playground area at Springfield, Ill.'s Washington Park.

The playground at Springfield, Ill.'s Washington Park was altered several weeks ago because of complaints that a five-pointed star etched in concrete could be interpreted as a symbol of the occult.

The pentagram is on the circular stage of a small amphitheater at the rear of the playground. The design was intended to be a spoked wheel, but landscape architect Kent Massie said a mistake made when the concrete was poured late last summer rendered that design impossible. It was decided to go with the star.

It was an innocent mistake, Massie said, and the star was not intended to signify anything.

To correct the problem, new lines and colors were added to give the circular area more of a pinwheel appearance.

The $400,000 playground was a project of the Springfield Parks Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports the park district. It includes attractions such as a climbing wall, a water play area and new landscaping. The amphitheater area is intended for small groups of schoolchildren and others.

Foundation president Cathy Schwartz said that when she first saw the star design, she thought nothing of it. On at least one occasion, candles were found at the site of the star, she added.

“At that point, we decided we couldn’t leave it the way it is,” Schwartz said.

The changes to the design are being done free of charge.

Source: Illinois State Journal Register

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December 14, 2019, 8:37 am PDT

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