West Side Plays Together

CORNERSTONE WEST CDC  |  Wilmington, DE

Locus Partners is working with West Side Grows Together (WSGT), an arm of Cornerstone West CDC, to design new playful spaces for Wilmington's West Side. Three public playgrounds are identified as places to rebuild and kick off revitalization of the diverse, working class neighborhoods of Little Italy and Hilltop: the playground at Father Tucker Park, a "tot lot" on Connell Street, and a "tot lot" at the southeast corner of 4th and Rodney Streets. We started off by reconsidering each site as a park to bring play, and also to fulfill the greater community need for public open space through which each neighborhood will reveal its unique identity. Locus Partners' approach to the project was three-fold: Civic Engagement, Place Making, and Design for Fund Raising. The engagement component involved tours, presentations, charrettes, and open house events to gather constituents, build community, and understand hopes and dreams for each park. We interpreted the culture and interests of each neighborhood to create a network of PLAY —places for the West Side to come together at a series of three unique parks. Each one is redefined with bold forms, colors and materials. Neighbors of all generations are welcomed by new entries and accessible pathways, enchanted with beautifying and sustainable plantings, offered lighting and furnishings for a sense of safety and repose, and given plenty of opportunity for active play and gathering throughout. West Side Grows Together is currently raising funds to make their big dreams come true.