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.

Donating money to Beechwood Park is now easier than ever

We’ve just added a new “Donate” tool to our site, so you can make online contributions via PayPal to the Friends of Beechwood Park group, now developing a Highlands community pocket park:


Donate to Beechwood Park

You’ll also find the link in the sidebar on the right side of this page.

You can use Visa, American Express, and other major credit cards — or an existing or new PayPal account. Just click on the Donate button, and away you go.

As always, your contributions are fully tax-deductible because the Friends of Beechwood Park is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

What our park could look like with your support

Here’s the latest design by Gresham Smith and Partners, the well-known landscape architecture firm with an office in Louisville. This is a bird’s-eye view looking down on the site:

Beechwood Park design detail

The design imagines the park in three major areas, left to right:

  • Nature Play.  An open children’s area with tree swings and natural playground equipment such as rocks and finished tree stumps to climb on.
  • Family Room.  A gathering place using a footprint based on a Victorian home, with benches and arches.
  • Side Yard.  A more serene garden-like setting serving as a retreat for reading and contemplation.

Note: Beechwood Avenue borders the top. Mid-City Mall is directly below, and Bardstown Road is to the right.

The CJ says, ‘The small-but-stately new Beechwood Park is taking shape’

Beechwood Park volunteers

Friends of Beechwood Park volunteers hard at work in June.

At the Beechwood Avenue site — which park leader Brian Caudill calls a “forgotten piece of land” — volunteers cleared invasive plants and other overgrowth this summer with tools  borrowed from the Olmtsed Parks Conservancy.

The property is one block northwest of Mid-City Mall, a sliver never developed after the mall opened in 1962 on the land once occupied by the German Protestant Orphans Home, The Courier-Journal’s Martha Elson wrote, in a June story about Crescent Hill and Tyler Park home and garden tours.

Vacant land remains where the homes stood along Beechwood, and the area in back behind a stone wall is covered in asphalt as part of the mall complex. The wall occasionally is spray-painted with graffiti, and walkways leading to the “phantom houses are still discernible in patches under the grass,” neighbor Charlotte Whitty wrote in an essay about the park plans called, “They Paved Paradise.”