One of the first parks to include a stream restoration project and "no mow zone", Northgate Park is a beautiful area of natural habitat. It boasts a dog park, picnic shelter, tennis courts, walking trails, and much more.
The Lavender House was built in the 1930s. In 1946, the building housed the Children's Museum, and years later the Museum moved to Murray Avenue where it became the Museum of Life and Science. The house was built within the Ellerbe Creek floodplain and would sometimes become flooded after heavy rains. After repeated floodings, the Lavender House was deconstructed. Today, the stone foundation area of the house has been transformed into a usable play space.
The land along Ellerbe Creek that was to become Northgate Park was donated to the City by Frank and Ruby Barfield to establish a park and bird sanctuary in 1938; this site was expanded and evolved into Northgate Park in later years. The park used to contain a small community center, named in honor of the Barfields, that occupied the corner of West Lavender Avenue and Elgin Street. That building burned down in the 1970s, and its location is now occupied by a pair of tennis courts.