Plan connects four triangles of Huron Park

With the Marina District dominating conversations about Battery and Shoreline Park in recent years, and Lions Park getting the city's first public beach, Huron Park has received little attention from residents. But with a new master plan, city officials are hoping to change that.
Jason Singer
Oct 29, 2010

With the Marina District dominating conversations about Battery and Shoreline Park in recent years, and Lions Park getting the city's first public beach, Huron Park has received little attention from residents.

But with a new master plan, city officials are hoping to change that.

The plan -- which includes new playground equipment and basketball courts, a Sandusky Walk of Fame, new restrooms, event space and many other attractions -- aims to connect the four separate triangles that comprise Huron Park.

Right now, many people don't know they make up one cohesive park, said Dean Frederick, whose firm, Frederick & Associates, designed the new master plan.

Frederick unveiled his latest drawings Thursday night at a public meeting at Sandusky City Hall.

"We're trying to bring them all back together as one park," Frederick said of the individual triangles. "We want them to interact and offer a consistent, unique experience."

The new design specifically connects the four triangles along Elm Street, Franklin Street, Huron Avenue and Madison Street.

It would use two established attractions -- the Sandusky Greenhouse and the Huron Park Splash Pad -- and build around those.

The park would start at the greenhouse between Elm, Franklin and Monroe and move east-northeast, ending at the splash pad between Elm, Madison and Warren.

A paved walkway would connect all four triangles.

"With the improvements at the greenhouse, we wanted to make sure what started here continues," said Carrie Handy, the city's chief planner, last month. "We had a lot of requests to replace the playground equipment. ... But we decided, 'Before we replace it and make an investment on something big, let's plan it out and make a really nice park."

The new Huron Park would serve as a gateway to downtown, city officials said.

In fact, it may have archways stretching across Huron Avenue that announce, "Welcome to Downtown Sandusky" or "Welcome to Huron Park," Frederick said, similar to the "Short North" archways in Columbus.

Huron Avenue would also have a Walk of Fame along both sides of it, which would honor famous Sanduskians who have achieved in athletics, business, academia or any other categories residents and officials wanted to honor, Frederick said.

The park would provide different attractions for youth, teens and adults.

Next to the splash pad, the city would provide new playground equipment, focusing that particular triangle on activities for children.

It would also add benches and shelter for parents, and a 20,000-square-foot free space for Frisbee, pickup baseball or one-time events.

Just south of the splash pad, the city would close off Madison Street between Warren Street and Huron Avenue, and use that as potential event space.

In the triangle below that, it would create an "active" triangle for older folks, with two half-court basketball courts, new restrooms, benches and tables.

"Right now, it's not balanced," Frederick said of the park. "If I brought my child here (to the splash pad), there's nothing for me to do. We're tying to improve upon that."

Southwest of the "active" triangle, the park would have a "passive" triangle, which includes a children's garden, a pergola, benches, open play space and event space.

The Sandusky Greenhouse sits in the fourth and final triangle, just west of Franklin Street. As part of the plan, the city would establish a learning center there, where children can learn about the greenhouse's solar panels and environmental sustainability.

The city hasn't established a budget for the park yet, but would likely seek to fund it using grants and donations, Handy said.

The next step is tweaking the drawings and presenting it to the planning commission and city commission, officials said.



Excellent design,
or make everyone happy?
You will have neither.



Captain Gutz



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