Gresham Smith swings a big spotlight on our park

Our award-winning architects at Gresham, Smith and Partners have now showcased our project in a gorgeous multimedia presentation. It tracks the nascent park’s history from the seedling of an idea nurtured by Highlands neighbors, to initial design, early rounds of fundraising, and last year’s construction groundbreaking.

Louis R Johnson cropped

Johnson

Combining virtual-reality video, illustrations, photos, and text, the presentation builds on Gresham Smith’s earlier marketing campaign. “A series of communication strategies were developed,” the firm says, “to assist Friends of Beechwood Park in refining their vision, creating a buzz within the community, leveraging private donations and grant funding, and taking the project from concept through to implementation.”

Project Manager Louis R. Johnson summarizes it best:  “This project represents a true grassroots effort of neighborhood communities coming together, wanting to inspire change, and then doing something about it in their own front yard.”

The presentation is called “A Grassroots Community Effort.” You can watch it here. And check out the virtual-reality video of the park’s master plan, which debuted at last year’s first Annual Beechwood Park Festival. It’s best viewed with a VR headset, but you’ll get a flavor of it in this YouTube version.

Don’t miss this year’s festival, where we’ll celebrate all the progress we’ve made in the past year developing our new pocket park in the Highlands near Mid-City Mall. Entrance is free, and the public is invited to join all the fun.

  • When: Aug. 11 from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Where: in the park at 1620 Beechwood Ave.

We’ll feature a beer tent by Monnik Beer Co.ValuMarket‘s grill; music by Squeeze-botSquallis Puppeteers and other kids’s activities, plus much more.

Please visit our festival invitation on Facebook. And follow us on our Facebook community page.

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Save the date: our second Beechwood Park Festival next month

Kids with chalk

Last year, kids had fun blowing big bubbles and making chalk drawings.

The second Annual Beechwood Park Festival will celebrate all the progress we’ve made in the past year developing our new pocket park in the Highlands near Mid-City Mall. Entrance is free, and the public is invited to join all the fun.

We’ll feature a beer tent by Monnik Beer Co.; ValuMarket grill; music by Squeeze-bot; Squallis Puppeteers, and other children’s activities, plus much more.

  • When: Aug. 11 from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
  • Where: in the park at 1620 Beechwood Ave.

Gresham Smith firm wins American Society of Landscape Architects chapter award for park design

KYASLA award

Accepting the award this month were the firm’s Jared Kaelin (middle) and Louis Johnson (right) from Joshua DeSpain, president of Kentucky ASLA.

Gresham, Smith and Partners has been honored by the Kentucky Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects with a Merit Award of Achievement for Communication for its work designing and promoting our neighborhood park.

GS&P’s team developed a conceptual plan and framework for the project and provided support for communication campaigns, helping the non-profit Friends of Beechwood Park sell the idea and raise funding through the use of virtual reality technology.

Last year, Friends of Beechwood Park obtained a $13,222 Neighborhood Development
Fund grant from Louisville Metro Council to start the first phase of construction. The total budget for the project is about $90,000.

GS&P accepted the award and other honors earlier this month at the professional organization’s annual meeting, held in Covington.

This was the fourth consecutive year the firm received awards from the KYASLA. GS&P was recognized as the Firm of the Year, honoring the firm’s commitment to landscape architecture and service to the community.

Construction has now begun!

Our park achieved a huge milestone recently, when EZ Construction Co. of Louisville began the first phase of development at the southwest end of the property; it all started last month. This is the “Nature Play” space, an open children’s space with tree swings and natural playground equipment such as rocks and finished tree stumps to climb on. (See this design rendering for a fuller description.)

Here’s the backhoe operator at work (left) and the partial excavation for the play area:

 

WFPL spotlights park on eve of street festival

WFPL interview

Caudill (left) and Kaelin with WFPL’s Johnson.

“There’s really a lot of potential,” Kristen Millwood, vice president of the Friends of Beechwood Park told the station for its just-published story, “and we’re really excited to add another park to Louisville.”

The park’s design was by Gresham Smith and Partners, an architectural firm in Louisville, says WFPL correspondent Laney Johnson. The firm’s goal reflected the neighborhood group’s: to honor the history of what used to occupy the area and keep with the Victorian aesthetic of the neighborhood.

“Part of what we do is we like to design the way we live,” said Jared Kaelin, an urban designer with the firm. “And part of that is active community spaces and places for people to hang out. We kind of modeled a family space or a gathering space after the footprint of a Victorian home.”

WFPL’s coverage came in advance of the first annual Friends of Beechwood Park Street Festival set for Saturday, Aug. 19. There will be food vendors, a beer tent, activities for kids, as well as virtual reality goggles visitors can use to digitally experience what the park will look like when finished. The event is free, but donations are welcome to support the park.

“It will bring out more awareness to what we’re doing,” said Brian Caudill, president of the Friends of Beechwood Park. “Maybe other groups would like to see how we did it and we’ll gladly mentor them through the process.”

Caudill also said “The Highlands loves a party,” and encourages people to come see what they are doing.