LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.
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(Continued on page 18) 16 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Cities across the country are finding new, vibrant ways to revitalize their downtown areas. Often, the plans include the creation of gathering spots with beautiful hardscapes that attract city dwellers and visitors. As this trend continues, landscape architects are increasingly choosing granite for its numerous benefits. Jason Kron of Coldspring, one of North America's largest quarriers and fabricators of granite, addressed the urban park and plaza trend and why granite makes an ideal medium for use in multiple ways. Jason answered some common questions about the use of granite for urban redevelopment projects. Q: What do you think is spurring the increasing use of granite for urban redevelopment? Kron: Historically, granite has been a material of choice for any project that's intended to stand the test of time. Now, as cities are looking at their aging, vacant buildings or other unused spaces, they want to turn these areas into something beautiful and useful for the community. Parks and plazas are critical to the redevelopment of many communities, and granite works well for these hardscape areas. Not only is granite beautiful, but it also is more durable and resistant to freeze-thaw cycles than most other hardscape materials, requires little maintenance, and meets ADA requirements. Q: Give us an example of a recent urban redevel- opment project featuring granite. Kron: One of the most significant urban redevelopment projects to use granite in recent years is the Cincinnati riverfront project. Construction began with the 45-acre Smale Riverfront Park and adjacent 18-acre development known as The Banks. City and park board officials — who began work on the plan in the 1990s — envisioned the once dormant land to become the region's new gateway. Though construction is ongoing for this multiphase project, some of the first features of the new development are open. Already, the area has drawn hundreds of thousands of new visitors into the downtown corridor — and, according to economists, has pumped tens of millions of dollars into the local economy. The total quantity of granite used thus far is approximately 24,000 cubic feet (more than 38,000 square feet) in a variety of thicknesses, in both heavy cubic and veneer applications. h a rd s c a p e s By Ashley Kizzire, Constructive Communication Q&A: Urban Redevelopment Spurs Increasing Use of Granite Above Cincinnati's Smale Riverfront Park and The Banks development have allowed the city and county to repurpose 32 acres of dormant land along the Ohio River into a vibrant city renaissance. Much of the hardscapes for the park are granite in both heavy cubic and veneer applications. Read more about Smale Riverfront Park at http:// www.landscapeonline. com/research/article. php/19148. PHOTO CREDIT: PATRICK MCCUE PHOTOGRAPHY