The park was opened in 1870, after the City Improvement Trustees of Glasgow purchased the land from Walter Stewart four years earlier. In addition to this, Alexander Dennistoun, the landowner of the Golfhill Estate, donated five acres of land, where the main entrance is now located. Employing hundreds of labourers, it was transformed from a barren wasteland into a place of leisure and recreation for citizens of the East End. The park was named after Princess Alexandra of Denmark, the wife of Edward VII, who later became King in 1901.
The showcase feature of the park is the towering Saracen Fountain, sculpted by artist David Watson Stevenson at the Saracen Foundry belonging to Walter Macfarlane & Co in nearby Possil. Standing 40 feet high, it was originally positioned in Kelvingrove Park, after it was gifted to the City following the 1901 International Exhibition, also held in Kelvingrove Park and Kelvin Hall. In 1914 the Glasgow Corporation decided to move the fountain to Alexandra Park. It had suffered some wear and tear over the years, and to coincide with the new millennium, the Saracen Fountain was given a £22,000 makeover.