Onondaga County Parks

Griffin Visitor Center

Joseph A. Griffin Visitor Center

The Joseph A. Griffin Visitor Center was created out of the transformation of the old Griffin Stadium field house.

Griffin Visitor Center explains the 1928 foresight of community leader Joseph A. Griffin, whose ideas and leadership led to the creation of Onondaga Lake Park.

The evolution of recreation and local history is also detailed at the Visitor Center and interpretive displays along the park trails.

The Joseph A. Griffin Visitor Center is part of the Family Activity Center located at the southern end Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool, New York.

For more information, contact Onondaga Lake Park at (315) 453-6712.

The Visitor Center and surrounding area features:

  • Two Shuffleboard Courts
  • Two Bocce Ball Courts
  • Two Multipurpose Ballfields
  • One Sand Volleyball Court
  • Restrooms, including family restrooms, accessible from inside and outside the Visitor Center
  • Park and local tourist information
  • A pictorial history of Joseph A. Griffin and the former stadium
  • Recreation Concession Building-Rentals of shuffleboard, bocce, volleyball, bike and skate equipment
  • Extended East Shore Recreational Trail and Wegmans Tram stop and turnaround
  • Expanded parking
Bocce Ball Pits

Bocce Ball Pits located at the Joseph A. Griffin Visitor Center at Onondaga Lake Park.

Shuffleboard Courts

The shuffleboard courts located at the Joseph A. Griffin Visitor Center at Onondaga Lake Park.


Joseph A. Griffin

Joseph A. Griffin, the man with the dream who created the idea of Onondaga Lake Park and the Parkway.

In 1928, Joseph A. Griffin was the secretary of the Onondaga County Park and Regional Planning Board and chairman of the Boulevard-Parkway Committee. He introduced and pushed for the development of a parkway to connect the city of Syracuse and the Village of Liverpool that would include park land and athletic facilities. When this project was finished in 1933, Griffin Stadium was dedicated in his honor. For 70 years, thousands of community and interscholastic sports events took place at the Griffin Field.

Joseph A. Griffin Timeline

  • 1862: Born on December 13 in the Town of Clay to Joseph A. and Bridget Whalen Griffin
  • 1863: Orphaned
  • 1870: Left Woodward Academy to work on a farm. Saved from drowning in Little York Lake by Indian boy who rose to become Chief Green of the Deer Clan of Onondaga.
  • 1876: Moved to Syracuse, and at the age of 14, opened a store at the corner of South Clinton & West Onondaga Streets.
  • 1884: Had become successful retail clothing businessman and vice president of Peek-Vinney Company.
  • 1889: Married Anna Christine Brown
  • 1908: April 2: Adopted by Onondagas and named Scho-nah-na-do, which means Hiawatha the Second.
  • 1924-1936: President of Citizens Hotel Corporation, operators of Hotel Syracuse.
    Creator and President of Mystique Crew of Ka-Noo-No, a merchants group which produced downtown special events.
  • 1925: Withdrew from Syracuse Mayoral Race.
  • 1928: Authored plan for proposed parkway around Onondaga Lake
  • 1933: August 16 - Dedication of Griffin Stadium
  • 1937: Died on July 9

During your visit to Onondaga County Parks, you may be photographed, videotaped, or filmed by Onondaga County Parks or authorized parties. Your attendance/admission serves as permission for use of these images by Onondaga County Parks. Commercial photography or filming is prohibited without permission of Onondaga County Parks.