Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
Post Reply
earthling
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4478
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by earthling » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:02 pm

Study and analysis by KU and K-State graduate students at KCDC resulted in its recommendation that Washington Square Park be focused on as a key downtown gathering place. Now, KCDC director Vladimir Krstic said, 16 KCDC grad students are in their second semester of a yearlong study of the park.
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... l?page=all

This could become a great urban park square. Needs lots and lots of park benches, the kind with arm rest in middle so no one can sleep on them, with landscaping on par with E Coast parks of this size (thinking Rittenhouse Sq in Philly). Maybe eventually a hirise (residential or office) developed in lot to N of it with a public plaza that opens up and merges into the park, with small bite/drink vendors. With streetcar going by, this could become a major functional urban park for downtown.

Could see it become something like this...
https://www.google.com/search?espv=2&es ... 8eh7abPboo

User avatar
voltopt
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2792
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 2:56 pm
Location: Manheim Park
Contact:

Washington Square Park

Post by voltopt » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:40 pm

http://www.kansascity.com/2014/03/19/49 ... nt_refhome

I'm not sure much needs to be done to the park, but the architect quoted in the article leaves out an interesting fact - the Washington Memorial was indeed moved here in 1926, but it was moved from the original Washington Square at Holmes and Missouri, which was renamed Columbus Square as a result.

The exhaustive book 'A Legacy of Design : An Historical Survey of the Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Boulevards System, 1893-1940' has more.

earthling
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4478
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Washington Square Park

Post by earthling » Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:43 pm

dp
Last edited by earthling on Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Demosthenes
Western Auto Lofts
Western Auto Lofts
Posts: 569
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:50 pm
Location: CBD

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by Demosthenes » Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:03 pm

Yea I like this park currently, and it could become a much nicer park with a little help. That being said I don't think it will ever be used like Rittenhouse or any great square like that. Sadly the density is not that great around this park, nor will it ever be. Plus Crown Center already has a square, right in the middle of all the Crown Center action. Why would people in CC go to Washington Square when they can experience a generally vibrant public square right there?

The blocks surrounding the park are pretty well maxed out every direction except immediately north. That parking lot to the north is its only hope, and sadly building something here would destroy the city view from this park, which is outstanding. Also, the train tracks just north of that lot don't allow for too much continuity in development to the north.

This park is kind of in a sea of nothing, which is an odd thing to say since it is in between Union Station and Crown Center. But it's pretty much true. The area is quite simply not designed for walking, at all. All these buildings are designed around the car. The friggin link even crosses by the park. So I think this park, even with improvements, will continue to be a nice, quiet park. It will be a great place to read a book on your lunch break, with excellent views of the city. I don't see it ever becoming a great urban square like Rittenhouse or Madison or Union. There just isn't the density and never will, unless mass demolition and redevelopment of Crown Center occurs.

My favorite urban squares in KC are Oppenstein on Walnut and Barney Allis. Their locations are much better for public squares. Even though I like the look of Washington Square a lot more, it is amazing how much more activity Oppenstein gets. It may be small and basic, but it's right in the middle of downtown and has people who are doing a million different things walking by. This is the recipe for a successful public square.

IraGlacialis
Colonnade
Colonnade
Posts: 895
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Bangkok

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by IraGlacialis » Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:35 pm

Demosthenes wrote: The blocks surrounding the park are pretty well maxed out every direction except immediately north. That parking lot to the north is its only hope, and sadly building something here would destroy the city view from this park, which is outstanding. Also, the train tracks just north of that lot don't allow for too much continuity in development to the north.

This park is kind of in a sea of nothing, which is an odd thing to say since it is in between Union Station and Crown Center. But it's pretty much true. The area is quite simply not designed for walking, at all. All these buildings are designed around the car. The friggin link even crosses by the park. So I think this park, even with improvements, will continue to be a nice, quiet park. It will be a great place to read a book on your lunch break, with excellent views of the city.
What about just adding just two more levels to that parking lot and topping it off with a park/plaza extension? Make that in conjunction with a wider footpath along Main to the Crossroads and possibly street-level retail along Grand.
If there was someway of seamlessly connecting it to the base of Liberty Memorial, there could possibly a be a nice chain that forms.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12844
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by FangKC » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:22 am

I doubt the plaza extension would ever fly with Union Station management, since that is a future development parcel, and a potential source of income for the Union Station complex. I think Union Station also has an agreement to add a mass transit station there within any future development--probably an office building, or mixed use structure.

However, depending on how it's developed, some sort of small pedestrian plaza might be added that might include a bridge over the tracks to connect with the Crossroads.

The reason that parcel is valuable is that it includes the potential to add a lot of structured underground parking and a transit station inside the complex itself.

Whatever goes there, it would be smart to wrap retail spots around the base fronting the park that would allow patrons to sit outside facing an improved park space.

IraGlacialis
Colonnade
Colonnade
Posts: 895
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:02 pm
Location: Bangkok

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by IraGlacialis » Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:25 am

True. Just addressing the idea about expanding the parking in that space while still maintaining the view of the city from the park.

Personally, I definitely agree that whatever goes there, it would be nice to have street-level parking.
Infill is winfill...

earthling
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4478
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:27 pm

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by earthling » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:40 am

This is some of the type of landscaping that WashSq Park could use...
Image
Image

Lots of benches but with armrest in middle so people don't sleep on them...
Image
Image

The parks black metal benches are nicer but many homeless sleep on them, they need armrest in middle...
Image

Gazebos are a nice touch..
Image

Nicely manicured landscaping..
Image

Image

More here...
https://www.google.com/search?espv=2&es ... B587%3B391
Last edited by earthling on Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2901
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by smh » Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:57 am

FangKC wrote:Whatever goes there, it would be smart to wrap retail spots around the base fronting the park that would allow patrons to sit outside facing an improved park space.
I can definitely envision a very pleasant sidewalk/plaza cafe bordering a new development on the north edge of the park.

shinatoo
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6063
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 3:20 pm

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by shinatoo » Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:07 am

smh wrote:
FangKC wrote:Whatever goes there, it would be smart to wrap retail spots around the base fronting the park that would allow patrons to sit outside facing an improved park space.
I can definitely envision a very pleasant sidewalk/plaza cafe bordering a new development on the north edge of the park.
Or put in a drive just for food trucks.
Quocunque Jeceris Stabit

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 28566
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by KCPowercat » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:18 pm

Such a great space could be made with even half of these ideas....having a plaza cafe would be great.

flyingember
One Park Place
One Park Place
Posts: 6676
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:54 am

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by flyingember » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:14 pm

Macken Park in NKC has a large walking loop with stretching/strength stations along it.

Sometime similar in this park could work well. There's no space for a large loop but imagine if this becomes the place for outside exercising to coordinate with someone that biked or ran there.

This would do a ton for the park and the cost would be extremely low cost for the return.


Or how about this. Instead of a formal loop, have a sort of an exercise path. You walk a certain loop up and around hospital hill, back down, do exercises, and repeat.

The health aspect would fit in well with the hospitals.

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2901
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by smh » Fri May 16, 2014 2:26 pm


KCtonic
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 406
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 10:24 am
Location: River Market

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by KCtonic » Fri May 16, 2014 3:01 pm

I love this plan - would be great to get rid of the surface lot and the awkward road (OK Street?) dividing the area. Make it so.
I assume the plan would keep the link to Union Station?
Image

User avatar
KCMax
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 24051
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 3:31 pm
Location: The basement of a Ross Dress for Less
Contact:

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by KCMax » Fri May 16, 2014 3:05 pm

Love it. If this is successful, does this open the door to some development on the periphery of PVP?

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2901
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by smh » Fri May 16, 2014 3:15 pm

My hope would be that the northern connection over the tracks will get built and be compelling enough to draw people through the park. Otherwise, as awesome I think it might be, I would be a little concerned about a lack of general activity--of course part of that depends too on the number of buildings/units that might get built.

User avatar
Pork Chop
Colonnade
Colonnade
Posts: 843
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:41 am

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by Pork Chop » Fri May 16, 2014 3:47 pm

KCMax wrote:Love it. If this is successful, does this open the door to some development on the periphery of PVP?
+2

User avatar
Pork Chop
Colonnade
Colonnade
Posts: 843
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 4:41 am

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by Pork Chop » Fri May 16, 2014 3:50 pm

smh wrote:My hope would be that the northern connection over the tracks will get built and be compelling enough to draw people through the park. Otherwise, as awesome I think it might be, I would be a little concerned about a lack of general activity--of course part of that depends too on the number of buildings/units that might get built.
From the article:
Also being studied is a possible pedestrian bridge that would cross the railroad tracks and link the top of the park’s new stovepipe shape to the Crossroads Arts District to the north.

Alternatives for providing pedestrian linkage to the north also are being studied, Stockman said. Those options, which may prove more practical, include “improving the pedestrian experience on the Main Street viaduct and/or the Grand Boulevard bridge that crosses the tracks," he said.

User avatar
smh
Broadway Square
Broadway Square
Posts: 2901
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:40 pm
Location: Central Loop

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by smh » Fri May 16, 2014 3:59 pm

Pork Chop wrote:
smh wrote:My hope would be that the northern connection over the tracks will get built and be compelling enough to draw people through the park. Otherwise, as awesome I think it might be, I would be a little concerned about a lack of general activity--of course part of that depends too on the number of buildings/units that might get built.
From the article:
Also being studied is a possible pedestrian bridge that would cross the railroad tracks and link the top of the park’s new stovepipe shape to the Crossroads Arts District to the north.

Alternatives for providing pedestrian linkage to the north also are being studied, Stockman said. Those options, which may prove more practical, include “improving the pedestrian experience on the Main Street viaduct and/or the Grand Boulevard bridge that crosses the tracks," he said.
Yes, I saw that. Hence my comment that I hope it gets built and is compelling.

User avatar
beautyfromashes
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4149
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:04 am

Re: Washington Sq Park between Crown Center/Union Station

Post by beautyfromashes » Fri May 16, 2014 4:07 pm

^^^
Any old railroad bridges we can wheel through DT again?

Post Reply