History Highlawn Pavilion
Situated at the top of Eagle Rock Reservation, the building today known as Highlawn Pavilion, and the property around it, has a storied past.
In 1909, an open masonry shelter affixed with a series of arches dubbed “the casino” was built on the crest of the Reservation and to this day serves as the bones of the structure that is Highlawn Pavilion.
The term "casino" refers to an Italian style county dwelling or summer house. As the Reservation became a popular spot where week-enders congregated the Italian term proved to be an accurate description.
Automobile enthusiasts of that period held races up the cobblestone roadway of Eagle Rock Avenue with the finish line in Eagle Rock Park, near where Highlawn is situated today.
After years of neglect, the casino was acquired by the Knowles family whose extensive renovation resulted in the creation of the restaurant known today as Highlawn.
Some other interesting facts:
Eagle Rock Park was used by Thomas Alva Edison to film part of the first ever motion picture "The Great Train Robbery"1907
Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of New York’s Central Park, created a preliminary design for the Reservation which was further developed by the Olmsted Firm in the early 1900's1917
Thomas Edison conducts secret experiments for the US military using the open expanse of Eagle Rock Park1920
The Reservation becomes more accessible as Automobiles regularly bring picnickers to the summit.