Core city park: DETROIT
Core City Park takes the place of a former parking lot surrounded on three sides by buildings. In 1893, Detroit Fire Department’s Engine 12 was completed on this site, and served Detroit until the mid-1970s. From then until today the site was an asphalt parking lot that weeds, debris, and the occasional car called home. Today, 85+ trees - Flowering Dogwoods and Iconic Locusts - have taken over the corner to create an “urban woodland”. Nearly everything used in the construction of the park was found on site - benches are sections of concrete walls removed from an old bank vault in the Pie Building; the “islands” - housing the benches - are a patchwork of found building pieces from the demolished fire-house which was simply pushed into the basement and covered with asphalt. The park honors the past, and is built for the future - just imagine, 85 trees occupying just 8,000 sf in ten years. Working with Julie Bargmann was a marvel - her idea to use what we found in anyway we possibly could gives the park spirit, relevance, intrigue, and most importantly - awakens a myth. Believe it or not, we were able to design and build this park with no engineers and no construction documents… just beautiful hand drawings by Julie, a lot of digging and days in the DIRT.