The Sunken Garden was originally designed and developed by Ray C. Moses in the 1930s. He had laid out the design, relying on his vast knowledge of formal gardens passed on to him by his father George - a former gardener at The Estates of English Nobility - who had preceded him as the park superintendent.
Ray Moses designed various new layouts over the years and marked special occasions with elaborate designs that were referred to as "carpet bed" plantings. In the 1940s these layouts included a tribute to the armed services with an army and navy design, complete with an anchor and guns "buy war bonds" and "victory: army-navy."
The Moses family members have played important roles in the park department since 1910. Ray's son, Edwin also began working for the department in 1946 and later served as the director from 1977 through 1983. The Moses family tradition continued on, when Ray's other son Ron, served as the Alderman for the 3rd ward, which encompasses the park, from 2000 to 2003.
The sunken garden was renovated in 2002. Included in this renovation was the addition of a handicap accessible multi-level walkway system, a computer operated irrigation system, along with new benches. A three tiered fountain with lights is the center focal point of the garden. Statues in each corner of the garden represent each of the floor seasons.
The garden is hand planted in the fall for every year, with over 10,000 tulips in preparation of the coming spring. By mid May, each year, these tulips are removed, and replaced with flowering annuals for the garden's summertime display.