Thursday, February 07, 2008

Recommended Reading 5

Landslide: Park Central Square, Springfield, MO/ The Cultural Landscape Foundation

On December 15, 2007, Mrs. Ruth Kelley, a long-time property and business owner in downtown Springfield, Missouri, wrote a letter which appeared in the local newspaper, the New Leader. In that communication, she asked the city council to reconsider the proposed reconfiguration of the Park Central Square, in downtown Springfield....

We were intrigued with this undocumented early public project by Halprin – a design that does not appear in any of the early surveys (e.g. Process Architecture No. 4: Lawrence Halprin, 1978.) ....

You can read Ruth Kelley's comments at the link.

Here is what Lawrence Halprin had to say about Park Central Square:

"This work came after the firm was already consulting in Missouri (referencing the Civic Center Master Plan for Kansas City of 1966). The design for Springfield came about as shopping malls such as Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, MN, were gaining popularity. These public spaces were also becoming cultural centers, with art becoming widely incorporated. The fountain at Springfield was meant to present abstraction and it had a lot to do with design. Architect Charles Moore [who had worked with Halprin on Lovejoy just a few years earlier with Moore & Turnbull as associated architects] likely influenced the Pavilion design, including its clipped corners."

For a look at some other threatened designs of Halprin:

LANDSLIDE /Three Invisible Modernist Designs by Lawrence Halprin

These landscapes suffer from poor maintenance that has led to demolition/redesign proposals at these sites.

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