On 28 January 1869, a resolution was passed by the Madras municipality proposing the creation of a park at the site of the stables of Messrs. Burghall and Company in Chintadripettah. The proposal was forwarded to the Government of Madras Presidency and on 15 April 1869, the proposal was approved and land was allotted for the construction of the park.
The park was named after Francis Napier, 10th Lord Napier, the Governor of Madras at the time of its creation.
The park covers about 14.5 acres was opened to the public on 13 September 1950 by the then Minister of Agriculture, A. B. Shetty.
The park is used to hold public meetings during the May Day celebrations when rallies are conducted from the park. The park is divided into two portions. There are facilities for cricket, football, volleyball and badminton on the eastern and western sides of the park.
May Day Park is today a shadow of its former self. Shrunk considerably from its original 14-acre-glory thanks to the Metro, the park still remembers its rechristening as May Day Park in 1990 with a plaque on the central crumbling rock sculpture.
Its first avatar as Napier Park (after then Governor, Lord Napier), was founded in 1869 over lands once used as stables by carriage-makers Burghall. Possibly renamed for its proclivity to vast employers with active labour unions the park today is home to the city’s annual May Day celebrations.
The park has been adopted and maintained by Simpson & Co