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Park(ing) Week Brings Mini Parks, Special Events to Jefferson St.

Tuesday September 17, 2013

Park(ing) Week runs Monday through Friday with special events

The first parking and traffic lane of Jefferson Street in front of Metro Hall has been transformed into a series of mini parks, with trees, sod and architectural structures -- all for Louisville Park(ing) Week.

Local designers and organizations spent the weekend constructing their spaces, which includes a temporary outdoor Mayor’s Office, a broadcast booth for Louisville Public Media, a modern TARC bus stop and a shelter with living walls of sod. The displays will be open through Friday afternoon and there are three evening events planned.

“The creativity of Louisville’s design community is shining this week,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “What these architects and landscape designers have created is poetic -- and all of it’s in the middle of Jefferson Street for all citizens to see and experience.”

Each year, the city and local architects host Park(ing) Day, where parking spaces are transformed into mini parks for one day. It’s part of a global effort to reclaim public spaces and city streets. The Mayor’s Office, working with the Urban Design Studio at the University of Louisville, decided to put the event on steroids and create Park(ing) Week. There will also be one-day displays in other areas on Friday.

“Demonstration projects like Park(ing) Week can be powerful catalytic tools by taking ideas beyond drawings and writing to the real world where people can experience the possibilities,” said Patrick Piuma, director of the Urban Design Studio.

Among the displays are:

  • A modern TARC bus shelter designed by architect Jeff Rawlins and his Architectural Artisans firm. The shelter is surrounded by greenery designed by the American Society of Landscape Architects local chapter.
  • A broadcast booth for Louisville Public Media and a temporary outdoor office for Mayor Greg Fischer and his staff, designed by Luckett and Farley Architects.
  • A mini park with walls of sod designed by Studio Kremer Architects.
  • A grove of trees planted in cedar boxes and platforms to accommodate food trucks, designed by Booker Design Collaborative.
  • A mini park designed by Brightside, the city’s clean and green collaborative.
  • A “grow more, mow less” park designed by the Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District.
  • A mobile wall titled “Before I Die” in which people can contribute what they hope to do, see or accomplish before they die.
  • Ping Pong tables from The Louisville Downtown Partnership and picnic tables across the Metro Hall grounds by Louisville Metro Parks.
  • Two bike buses provided by Humana.
  • An exhibit by Vision Louisville, the 25-year visioning process for the city.
  • A “rickhouse” by DeLeon and Primmer Architecture Workshop, designed to represent the interior of a bourbon aging warehouse (photo display on Jefferson; full display at 117 S. Shelby St, in NuLu)

Food trucks will be set up each day for lunch during Park(ing) Week and three special events are planned including:

  • Happy Tail Hour, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday Sept. 16. People are invited to bring their dogs to Metro Hall for an evening of socializing and cocktails. There will be food trucks, a cash bar and vendors from local pet stores and animal rescue agencies will be set up. Louisville Metro Animal Services, which is overseeing the effort, will showcase animals for adoption.
  • Pecha Kucha, a night of sharing big ideas, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (presentations begin at 8 p.m.) Tuesday, Sept. 17. The event will be held on the Metro Hall lawn and people will present their ideas for improving education. There will be food and cocktails. Each presenter gets 20 slides and 20 seconds per slide each to share their big ideas for the future. For more information, visit www.pklouisville.org
  • Flea and Farmers Market, 11 a.m. to dusk Thursday, Sept. 19. Local and regional farmers will be selling their fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses and there will be numerous booths with flea market items for sale. There will be music, food trucks and a cash bar.