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.

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.