Urban Park Spaces
There are three assets located along W. Lisbon Avenue that can be classified as parks. Two of the spaces are currently functioning as parks that serve the neighborhood in some way. The park located on the corner of W. Lisbon Avenue and N. 33rd Street displays artwork made by the children of a local school. It is also used to hold small meetings and gatherings. The park located on W. Lisbon Avenue and N. 39th Street has some sculptural elements that invite people in to utilize the site and is voluntarily maintained by one man during his free time. Unfortunately, this park is not accessible during periods of heavy snow, and if the grass is not maintained in the summer it can get out of control, making the park less inviting.
As Pierce Lewis stated, landscapes tell us who we are culturally, from where we have emerged, and where we are about to go. This is why these parks are assets to the Washington Park community -- they are landscapes that tell the past, present, and future of the neighborhood. As these landscapes are studied, they tell multiple stories. For instance, the park on N. 39th Street tells a story of community and joyful gathering, but it also tells a story of sorrow and heartache. The park on N. 33rd Street tells a story of joy and creativity through the artwork of the children, and it gives hope for a bright and bountiful future. The lot located on the corner of W. Lisbon Avenue and N. 45th Street tells a story of being forgotten, yet it has so much potential for a prosperous future.
All of these landscapes have developed into what they are today through cultural changes. They are filled with stories of prosperity and community yet tell stories of hardship that are read again as hope. These spaces are assets to help the community converge culturally and bridge the gap between their regional differences. They can be developed into prosperous parks filled with activities and artwork from the community, seating to serve the nearby businesses which may encourage more businesses to settle into some of the open retail locations.
The development of the parks on W. Lisbon Avenue is a start to a future that could hopefully expand to some of the other landscapes in Washington Park and surrounding neighborhoods that are waiting to tell their future.