1998 Meeting Summaries

Working Committee Meeting Summaries
   The working committee is comprised of citizens, staff, and design team members. The committee meets on a monthly basis to discuss a variety of issues related to the design and renovation of the park. The committee assists with networking with the neighborhoods and preparing for community meetings.
Gregg Bleam explains possible park designs at a
Working Committee meeting.
     The working design by Landscape Architect Gregg Bleam lays out a "green entryway" into Washington Park. As people approach the park on Preston Avenue from downtown, the view of asphalt and a playground will be replaced by a green lawn surrounded by oak trees. The plan calls for the current grove of old white oaks to be supplemented by a new planting of young trees. The "Barn" (the name many are using to denote the new recreation building) will be set on a slight rise behind the lawn. A covered porch will be connected to the "Barn" and will allow an unimpeded view of the play area on the park’s knoll. The design and placement of the structure creates an amphitheater from which community events can staged.

     Jeff Dreyfus of Bushman/Dreyfus Architects is in the process of refining the designs for the new recreation building. The Working Committee and Recreation staff wanted the following amenities in the new recreation building: a community meeting room capable of seating approximately 100 people and which can be divided into two separate areas, a small kitchenette, a storage area, a janitorial closet, an office with views to the play area, and a bathroom capable of servicing the public when the building is either open or closed. Due to the desired amenities, the design of the proposed recreation building is slightly larger than first proposed which has created a problem with its placement. The Working Committee expressed a desire to keep the building as a long barn-like structure per the conceptual designs as well as a desire to have the building become a part of the landscape, not dominating the park.

   The proposed park design calls for the lower level of the park to have a new parking lot and a basketball court. As of this date, it has not been decided what other uses the space on the bottom level will accommodate. Some possibilities are open spaces, a second playground, a multi-purpose field, a softball field, and a little league field. The preliminary statement of probable costs for the park's basic components is over $705,000. This amount does not include money for the concrete paths and steps connecting all areas of the park, a proposed play area on the park's lower level, picnic tables and benches, nor funds for the plant material needed to rejuvenate the park's landscaping.

Topics and ideas covered by the Working Committee:

Urban Design Committee

Percent for Art: The Urban Design Committee Explains Their Purpose

     Some members of the Urban Design Committee attended a Washington Park working committee meeting to discuss how the Percent for Art program could have a positive impact on the park's redevelopment. The program was started in the 1980's and mandates that 1% of a capital improvement project's budget be used to acquire a piece of art for that project. The mosaics on the north end of City Hall Annex and the commemorative medallions in the Main Street bridge are due to the Percent for Art program.

     Bitsy Waters of the Urban Design Committee expressed the desire to solicit input on the design of the art selected for Washington Park from community members who are interested and involved in the park's redevelopment. Community members will help narrow the criteria for the artists' submissions, select a desired medium and possible theme, and decide on the placement of the art work.

     Working Committee members expressed many ideas regarding possible art mediums including: commemorative plaques describing the park's unique history, a sculpture, a time capsule, and clay tiles depicting historic park themes designed and created by local children or artists. In order to maintain the integrity of the Percent for Art program citywide, the citizen participating in selecting the appropriate art work for Washington Park will work in close conjunction with the Urban Design Committee.

1998 Washington Park Renovations and Community Involvement

2001 Washington Park Home Page

Website Credits
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Parks Division of Public Works Department
Project Leader
Kay Frazier
Created by
Judy Bias
Rosalind Collins
Stephen Pleasants

last updated 2/20/01 by Stowe Keller
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