From Parks and Recreation, May 1976 Award-Winning Designs THE RICHMOND, Virginia. De- park has also become a wildlife sanc- partment of Recreation and Parks tuary for the many animals living in has received Urban Design Awards the center of the city. for 1975 from the Richmond City Eventually, the park will cover Planning Commission and the-Urban about 3,000 acres of land and water Design Committee for its James which will include property on both River Park Information Center and the north and south banks of the Paradise Park projects. James River and the islands within The awards recognize building, the river. Plans call for restoring his- site. or landscape designs and sculp- torical areas of the park, including ture, graphics, or other special effects parts of the Kanawah Canal, which that enhance the city environment, has a history dating to George Wash- The James River Park Award was ington. and Belle Isle, the site of given for the design and treatment of fortifications and buildings which an information center building locat- served as a Civil War prison. ed in the center of James River Park. Paradise Park is a block core park The building, which also serves as a that was created by the conversion of maintenance/storage building, was the inner section of a city block designed by Carlton Abbott. which once housed rows of old Opened to the public in 1970 and garages. garbage cans, and littered now in the third phase of a seven- areas. It was financed cooperatively phase construction project, James by the Fan District Association. the River Park has turned out to be one city of Richmond? and the federal of the most exciting parks in Rich- government. The project was de- mond’s modern municipal park sys- signed by Carlton Abbott and was tem, The park makes it possible for begun in 1968. Richmond residents to get to the riv- The new block core park now fea- er without fear of being arrested for tures concrete sculpture, large shuf- trespassing. (Prior to this time, fleboard areas, several open play railroads had cut off access to the areas, and quiet restful oases. It is river.) Park visitors can enjoy hiking, open to the general public but is rock hopping, bird watching, jog- utilized primarily as a neighborhood ging, picnicking, and fishing. The park/play area. Upper: The site chosen for Paradise Park was a neighborhood eyesore. Lower: The site as it looks today - an immeasurable improvement.
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