Background: Urban Phoenix could use some more shade. This became obvious when we moved our business to the Midtown Museum district of Phoenix late last year. Instead of putting up a shade structure and building a "patrons only" patio, we asked "How can we do something the entire neighborhood will enjoy and benefit from?" The answer: construct a beautifully designed urban green-space a "pocket park". Our Kickstarter project is raising funds to do this.
Design: It took only one meeting with landscape architect, Kirby Hoyt to recognize that he is the PERFECT landscape designer for this pocket park. He loves parks, travels to photograph them and connected with this project immediately. The conversation went like this: Laryn: "I really like the Tuilieries in Paris and want to do that here, but much smaller and with desert adapted trees. What do you think?" Kirby: "I think this is great. I love the Tuileries and no one has done this here. The design is classic and the origins would really elevate the project." Both: "Okay, let's do this!" After talking with property owner Tom Carmody, ASU architecture & urban planning grad students and community leaders, the design really came into focus and the original plan was agreed to. Sometimes simple elegance can't be improved on. That is the case with the design for Vernon Avenue Pocket Park.
By backing this project, you will finance: a bosque of trees, a small lawn area, drip irrigation, outdoor lighting and some low seating walls. The 'rooms' are designed to offer options for using the space: tai chi, reading a book, having a meeting, enjoying the shade, a mom's stroller meet up, etc. The furniture is meant to be moved around. The space is meant to invite people to use it as they wish.
Imagination run wild: If we exceed our funding goal, we can do more! The wish list includes an interesting outdoor lighting display, a dog area, custom designed benches, a community herb garden...post your idea - we will listen.
Implementation: Kirby Hoyt donated his design for this project. The demolition, grading and installation will be overseen by Laryn Blok, Tom Carmody and his staff. The project will remove all of the existing hardscape from the site - concrete, an old swimming pool and brickwork. The lot will be graded for drainage and to even it out. The park will consist of two fluid outdoor rooms extending north from the sidewalk. Immediately north of the sidewalk a grove of desert adapted trees will be planted in a classic pattern. The ground will be covered by decomposed granite. Adjacent to the bosque of trees a small lawn will be installed. Among the trees a community table, movable benches and lighting will be installed. Once the project begins, it should take 6 weeks to complete.
Park property: The property is owned by Tom Carmody of Carmody Companies. Tom and his wife Laurie are invested in making their properties interesting through adaptive re-use; encouraging revitalization of the urban core of Phoenix; and generally making things work for the community. They have agreed that opening up the property to a Kickstarter campaign where citizens would "vote with their dollars" on using this site as a park works for their property.
Risks and challenges
This project has been in the works for many months. Much planning, project management, budgeting and work has already taken place. We all know that even best laid plans can face risks. Timelines are always at risk of delays, this holds true for us. Unique challenges include: 1) weather related delays 2) working on a site that has been neglected means we might run into buried building materials that require unexpected demolition/removal 3) working around older buildings can require extra care.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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