August 30, 2021 - Promenade Park was recently named a winner of the 2021 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Americas Awards for Excellence. Winning projects include 10 from the United States and two from Canada, and represent the highest standards of achievement in the land use profession.
Fort Wayne’s 87th park, Promenade Park is a 4.5-acre space connecting downtown Fort Wayne to the riverfront, inviting people of all ages and abilities to come together and enjoy the water and natural life near the city. The project’s ambitious scope involved the transformation of the north and south banks of the St. Marys River into a signature space for recreation, relaxation and reflection for the downtown Fort Wayne community and surrounding areas.
“We’re honored to receive recognition for the collective effort that resulted in Promenade Park,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “As the first phase of riverfront development, our newest park is welcoming and accessible to people of all abilities. Promenade Park has also turned our three rivers into a regional destination for recreation, arts, cultural activities, and substantial private investment.”
A key component of the park is the Park Foundation Pavilion, which offers over 6,400-square-feet of covered space. One of the most unique and frequently used features of the park is the Parkview Tree Canopy Trail, winding in and out of the trees lining the river. The trail was specially designed for universal accessibility. By connecting downtown pedestrian traffic to Fort Wayne’s three rivers, Promenade Park raises awareness about the need to better care for the urban center’s natural environment. Thanks to the revitalizing nature of the park, more riverfront development phases are on the horizon, as well as new businesses springing up downtown not far from the water’s edge.
“The number one goal of Promenade Park is to reconnect people with the rivers in downtown Fort Wayne and to create a world-class park that serves to drive private investment around the park”, said Alec Johnson, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Deputy Director of Planning and Development.
“Promenade Park’s universal design features show that even minor design modifications go well beyond ADA to promote access for people of all abilities,” said Patti Hays, AWS Foundation’s CEO. “By building a culture of inclusion that offers a wide range of leisure, learning, and employment opportunities that support all people, regardless of age, size, or disability status, we improve quality of life across the region. AWS Foundation applauds our community’s efforts to create accessible, collaborative, and creative environments like Promenade Park.”
“This park truly represents the mission of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation,” said Steve McDaniel, Director of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation. “Our department works every day to provide spaces that improve the quality of life for our fellow citizens, and Promenade Park offers so many opportunities to our entire community to gather, enjoy nature and just relax a little. I have to thank our design partners that helped make this vision a reality for Fort Wayne.”
The design consultant, Riverworks Design Group, worked alongside Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation throughout the project. Team members included Design Collaborative, Lamar Johnson Collaborative, Engineering Resources, Hoch Associates, American Structurepoint, and One Lucky Guitar. The Hagerman Group served as Construction Manager.
Learn more about Promenade Park at RiverfrontFW.org.