fitzsimmons architects

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park place

project team
fitzsimmons architects
lingo construction
obelisk engineering


photo
© josephmills.com

What was for decades a dark, unused alley filled with power lines has been transformed into a safe and fun place to walk, relax, and socialize. The alley lies between four historic buildings that are home to apartments, restaurants, offices, and retail. These buildings share parking so the alley has become a place for pedestrians - a place where people want to be.

The heart and impact of the project is its creation of an urban place from a found space. It functionally connects the buildings but also provides an identifiable urban landmark. This new landmark provides first-step catalysts for expansion of the pedestrian way to connect not only the existing adjacent buildings but also to connect future growth on neighboring blocks. While providing an immediate sense of place, ultimately it serves as a starting point to create a rich urban fabric. This area is an integral part of the current renaissance of the city and has seen a dramatic increase in both the redevelopment of existing buildings and new infill commercial and residential housing projects.

Today, the former alley creates a festive public gathering spot. The design's simplicity of materials, plantings, and lighting belies the complexity of achieving the project. Negotiations with utility companies for burial or relocation of lines were led by the architect, along with coordination of city requirements for access to utilities left in place and coordination of drainage of all surrounding buildings throughout the alley. The project owner also worked closely with the city and neighbors to vacate and take responsibility of the alley while still maintaining necessary long-tern easements.