Memorial Park is a much loved historic park connecting the Putnam Heights, Crown Heights and Edgemere Neighborhoods. Known as one of Oklahoma City's first public green spaces, the park once held a lake for boating and hosted tent revivals. Over the years the park incorporated tennis courts, a swimming pool, and community center. As structures and programs have come and gone, the park began to bear the scars of antiquated planning, demolition and heavy use. Through it all, the park’s crowning feature, the Memorial Fountain, has welcomed visitors from Classen Boulevard since the early 1920s.
Renovation efforts for the park centered on capitalizing on the historic nature of the park, retaining popular program features such as running, and reorganizing the disparate existing features of the park. To accomplish a cohesive plan, the park was divided into five use zones, based upon the existing architecture. The west end, with its historic fountain, was treated as passive recreation where lawn picnics and spending time near the fountain basin is key. The central section utilized the east/west orientation of the existing courts and spray ground to create an active play "neighborhood".
Walkways in the east/west direction and north/south direction create a grid similar to the streets at the parks edge. This organization provides distinct play zones, where movement is needed to traverse the sidewalks in order to access all of the play zones.
Moving east, a grand lawn was carved out of an existing open lawn area. Here an eight mile gravel track has been formed to replace a popular soft surface path in the park. The grand lawn is surrounded by large berms for viewing soccer games or concerts.
The park's east end incorporates the historic Shakespeare Garden and improves circulation to and from the Boys and Girls Club located in the park. Benches and picnic tables have been placed in this area to provide areas for rest.
At the north edge of the park, a new parking lot has been constructed for park visitors. Recognizing the propensity for the park to flood, the design team created the first porous paving parking lot in the Oklahoma City Parks system. Water from the parking lot is infiltrated into the parks sub-base. Any water not able to infiltrate into the soil is collected in a drainage system and released into a system of bio-retention basins in the park. Additional basins have been created up-stream to handle water exiting from an underground culvert during high rain events. Wildflowers and grasses have been planted to help cleanse and retain water.
Size: 10 acres
Completed while Brent Wall was at OKC Parks & Recreation