Playground Design With History In Mind

The second-oldest park in Cincinnati was recently revitalized through a unique partnership between the Cincinnati Park Board and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC). Working together, the two organizations engaged in a community-based master planning process to create a civic space that includes a custom-themed GameTime playground.

The new Washington Park playground salutes the city's cultural and architectural history.

Washington Park designers were committed to creating a play environment that reflected the community's cultural and architectural heritage.

David Williams and Associates from GameTime worked closely with the park's planners to fully understand the history and significance of the project and to create a safe and imaginative play environment for children of all ages.

To deliver a one-of-a-kind destination playscape, design firms Human Nature Inc. and Site Master Inc. partnered with PlayWorx, the custom play division of GameTime, to create a themed playground with a canal boat for climbing and exploring, a tower with an internal spiral slide, and a castle mound fit for all manner of heroic play.

"The process for designing the playground was fun," said David Whittaker, ASLA , Associate Principal and LEED AP for Human Nature Inc.

A canal boat sparks imaginative play.

"We are lucky that Cincinnati and the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood are rich in architectural and cultural history. We used these gifts of our community to inspire a playground that honors the Samuel Hannaford architectural legacy and echoes the once economically and culturally important Miami-Erie canal that used to flow nearby."

The planning team for the park also took a unique approach to its design by holding a design charrette where neighborhood children proposed ideas for the playground.

"Many of the ideas they shared with us became part of the final design," Whittaker said.

The park has received positive reviews from the community, and many residents say the park is playing a significant role in the revitalization of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Residents also enjoy the wide array of events and activities now supported by the park.

David Williams and Associates representative Bob Greiwe has visited Washington Park many times since its completion, and said he is amazed to see the positive changes the park has brought to the community.

Area children helped by providing their input.

"I really enjoyed seeing the entire culture of the neighborhood change," Greiwe said. "From the outset, we knew this was a special project and were thrilled to be a part of it."

Washington Park is an important civic space in the heart of Cincinnati that has evolved over the last 150 years. The recent changes to the park have created a community center for recreation, events, and play for all ages.

For more information about GameTime, click here .