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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Calgary > Buildings & Architecture, Urban Design & Heritage Issues

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  #1  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 3:36 PM
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Exclamation Central Memorial Park Grand Re-Opening

After at least 2 years worth of work it appears that the renos are completed at Central Memorial Park.

They will be having a grand re-opening on Friday, May 14th starting at 5pm.

http://www.centrecitytalk.com/my_web...ngs-anew-.html

I'm hoping to go down either Friday evening or Saturday (weather permitting) to check out the new landscaping and parkspace.

Some highlights of the renovated park:

-An amazing new year-round restaurant called Boxwood - where you can find everything from snacks to go to fine dining morning noon, night and weekends in this glorious park setting. http://boxwoodcafe.ca/

-Outdoor reading rooms with wireless Internet

-Water features

-Modern lighting features to focus on monuments and the library as well as providing an improved safety element

-Public restroom facilities

-A level performance stage where festival events will take place

-Edwardian garden design with plenty of spots to sit and truly soak it all in

-The Memorial Park Library - lovely as ever
-
The Cenotaph Plaza, flagpole and commemorative monuments

-Statue of R.L. Boyle on his horse
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Last edited by Bigtime; Jun 22, 2010 at 4:56 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 3:43 PM
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Boxwood looks like it might be really awesome. Great use for the park. I'm glad Calgary's gotten over its phobia of commercial uses in public parks in recent years.

I haven't seen an pics of Central Memoral Park renos. *Looks at Mersar*
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  #3  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 3:50 PM
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Yeah I think that Boxwood restaurant could be quite popular during lunch.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 4:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wooster View Post
I haven't seen an pics of Central Memoral Park renos. *Looks at Mersar*
I'll make sure to bring the camera with me if we go down Friday or Saturday.
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Old Posted May 10, 2010, 4:20 PM
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I'll take some from my deck tonight. Overall its looking pretty good, and already is getting used by a lot of people.

Personally I doubt theres any way the work will be completed for Friday though, the entire east half of the park (from the statue to the library) is yet to be sodded (the west half was completed by Remembrance Day last year), the fountains aren't finished, and sadly a huge amount of what was supposed to be in the redesign got cut as the project is reportedly massively over budget (to the tune of several million). They've made a lot of progress in the last few weeks though, but considering they were still installing the irrigation system this morning its going to be another 26th ave promenade type grand opening unfortunately, unlike the very sucessful (and completed) reopening of Haultain park last year.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 4:33 PM
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Crap, they got to get it together with this kind of stuff. Push the official re-opening back until it is substantially completed then.

I'll still probably go by on a walk to check out what is done.
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Old Posted May 10, 2010, 4:49 PM
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When is Lilac fest? having Central Memorial finished by then would be ideal IMO.
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Old Posted May 10, 2010, 4:54 PM
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I think Lilac fest is on the 30th this month.

http://www.4streetcalgary.com/lilacfestival/
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Old Posted May 10, 2010, 5:14 PM
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Here's hoping for some nice weather for Lilac, last year was pretty rainy IIRC. I think having more space in the park will be good, especially if there is a stage set up for some of the entertainers.
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Old Posted May 10, 2010, 5:57 PM
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last year the Lilac Fest was hot and sunny!

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  #11  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 6:45 PM
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I must be thinking about the year before.
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  #12  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 8:49 PM
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I really hope this park gets tons of use from the public so it doesn't get overrun with vagrants who end up scaring people off. It is a great opportunity and hopefully a precedent to create more parks like this throughout the core!
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  #13  
Old Posted May 10, 2010, 9:40 PM
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Quote:
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I really hope this park gets tons of use from the public so it doesn't get overrun with vagrants who end up scaring people off. It is a great opportunity and hopefully a precedent to create more parks like this throughout the core!
That is exactly the whole point of making parks great places. Until we realize that if we let our parks space deteriorate it will be overrun with vagrants, we will never recognize the importance of proper parks maintenance and design.
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  #14  
Old Posted May 11, 2010, 12:05 AM
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Well I managed to get home just at the right time tonight, they were testing the fountains and irrigation system in the park. So I grabbed my camera (as did a half dozen others who were wandering around the park) and headed across the street.


Looking west from the Library


Looking east. There are white LED's around the outside of the pool, which look neat at night






Fountains in the sidewalk between Boxwood and the Parks office




There are LED lights like this buried along the pathways all throughout the park


The Boxwood Cafe building


And a huge pano from my balcony (click to see full size)
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Last edited by mersar; May 11, 2010 at 3:10 AM.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 11, 2010, 12:14 AM
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I would have strong reservations about the creation of any new parks within the City Centre. Why? City parks can lack the natural guardians that streets have, and often creates sightline blockages that aids criminals at concealing criminal activity. Even the best designed park is at risk for crime like drug trafficking and alcohol use.

Instead my thinking goes along the lines of instead of creating a "park", create ribbons of green space, interjected with focal points. Work on improving the streetscape and sidewalk, and lighting beneath railway underpasses. I believe serving the mobility needs of pedestrians is way more important to improving quality of life in City Centre than development of parks. For example, the Stampede Grounds are awful for pedestrians, there are also areas of downtown where sidewalk is non-existent, or the stretches of railroad lines where there are no crossovers for pedestrians.

Sorry for the rant; this weekend I found a cache of spray cans hidden behind some shrouding in a park (which was likely used for graffiti tagging), so I am convinced parks end up all to often fuctioning as places for drug trafficking instead of the beautification that city planners had envisioned.

Even Olympic Plaza which I would say is one of the more pretty parks in the city, and has been wellfunded, it is difficult to cross through without being hassled for money or seeing someone passed out and drunk on a bench.

Putting up a bunch of benches, picnic tables, and a couple of trees can seem like a well meaning idea, but if the park lacks engagement of people throughout the day and night, it might as well be the perfect place to cache spray cans or traffic drugs.
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  #16  
Old Posted May 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
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Thanks for posting the photos Mersar. The terminating vista of the Sheldon Chumir Centre looks wicked!

I used this park a lot on lunch breaks before. I'm keen on checkin' out the layout and the the wifi and public library is a great combo!
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  #17  
Old Posted May 11, 2010, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radley77 View Post
Thanks for posting the photos Mersar. The terminating vista of the Sheldon Chumir Centre looks wicked!
Yep. The city has an image from a postcard circa 1930 of a similar vantage from the roof of the library overlooking the old Colonel Belcher. I'd love to get up on the roof of the library and take that a shot from the same view once everything is finished up.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 11, 2010, 12:31 AM
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Thanks for the pic. It's coming together nicely. Although I like the design of Memorial Park, with its intent to return the park more toward its original design, I'd like to see other new urban park spaces represent more the cutting edge in landscape architecture.

Radley, I'd have to disagree. Parks are fundamental to quality of life in high density urban environments. The problems of some of our urban parks have much more to do with poor design, poor integration with their surroundings and lack of active uses around them. Olympic Plaza may be a well funded park, but it too suffers a lot of design issues. It in fact is up for a re-design.

Last edited by Wooster; May 11, 2010 at 2:16 AM.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 11, 2010, 3:10 AM
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Oops, forgot to link the pano. The full size is here
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Old Posted May 11, 2010, 3:20 AM
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Does anyone have a picture of the park before the reno's? My first time ever in Calgary was in 2007 for two days of which I never came back untill I moved there in Sept.

However I tend to agree with Wooster, especially if the cafe succeeds in supporting "legitimate" uses of the park. another example was walking down and seeing the new green space near Victoria Crossing, which had children playing.
If you compare and contrast this park with one say like century garden then I'm sure you will find vast differences in both design and level of intergration of the green space into the surrounding urban fabric.
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