In 1874, a year after the abolition of slavery by Spanish royal decree, a group of Puerto Rican citizens built a small park in memory of the historic event. In 1880 the city government took up the project and developed this park. It originally included a roller coaster, fish pond and playground, but these were replaced with an amphitheater and acoustic shell in a 1956 renovation.
The 100 foot high marble Monumento a la abolición de la esclavitud (Monument to the abolition of slavery), also known as Obelisco a la libertad (Obelisk to freedom) is at the park’s southernmost tip. At the base of the obelisk is Esclavo libertado (Freed slave), an iron statue by Victor Cott. Both were added in the 1956 renovation.