Monday, April 7, 2014

New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 4:39 PM

The Spokane Parks Board and a citizen committee have been working on a new vision for Riverfront Park, and those ideas are getting closer to a final plan. Presentations to neighborhood councils are continuing over the next few months, and there are two upcoming meetings on April 17 and April 24 at City Hall for public questions and testimony.

The overall goal is to make the park more welcoming and useful, and that includes some potentially big changes to icons like the U.S. Pavilion, the Looff Carrousel and the park’s entrances. New renderings of design concepts posted on the Riverfront Park Master Plan 2014 site make it easier to picture how those changes could turn out. See all the images and explanations here.

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
Paul F. Hirzel

Some of the ideas:

• Create a wide, straight “promenade” through the park from the Rotary Fountain at the south to the blue bridge at the north. This would channel bike and pedestrian traffic, and also operate as a “town square” for events.

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
NAC Architecture
click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
Paul F. Hirzel

• Build a new, expanded structure to house the Looff Carrousel, which would double as an events center and better protect the carousel’s wood carvings.

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
NAC Architecture

• Install a “kinetic dome” within the existing U.S. Pavilion cables that can open and close for light projection and weather protection. The goal here is to make the pavilion into a flexible event center capable of hosting a variety of events, from Hoopfest games to graduations. (This is a change from earlier ideas about re-covering the pavilion with a translucent material.)

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
Olson Kundig Architects
click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
Olson Kundig Architects

• Update shelters around the park to have a similar look and be more flexible for events like weddings or company picnics.

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
Olson Kundig Architects

• Move the ice rink to the gondola meadow (by the Bloomsday runners statue) and use it for a farmers market or outdoor dining during the summer.

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
iDR Studio, Matt Melcher
click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
iDR Studio, Matt Melcher

• Create a gateway on the north bank of the park (which doesn’t currently feel much like part of the park) with a climbing gym or other plaza structures.

click to enlarge New design concepts for the Riverfront Park master plan
Nystrom Olson Architecture

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About The Author

Lisa Waananen

Lisa Waananen is the web editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She specializes in data and graphics, and her recent cover stories have been about family history, the legacy of Spokane photographer Charles A. Libby and genetically modified food...