Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JUL 2017

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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Page 17 of 133

Continued on page 16 18 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Known as a landmark on Beale Street in downtown Memphis, Tenn., W.C. Handy Park is home to performers, concerts, and nightlife. Initially built in 1931, the park honors W.C. Handy, known as 'Father of the Blues.' A brick wall created an entrance to the park from Beale Street. It also had an 8,700 square foot concrete plaza, a stage, and a seating lawn. The plaza served as gathering space with moveable benches to accommodate a smaller stage. Landscape beds with 5 large trees in various states of health took up about 1,675 square feet of the plaza. Use, age, and lack of maintenance had given the park a run-down and unwelcoming appearance. The focus of the park, the statue of W.C. Handy, had become weathered and dirty. Sections of paving had settled, creating areas of standing water. The landscape beds created an obstacle within the plaza. Due to people standing in them during events, the soil had become compacted and plants were unable to grow. Blocks used for edging the beds were loose and created tripping hazards. Working with the Downtown Memphis Commission, Dalhoff Thomas design|studio was asked to give the park a fresh look that adds excitement and movement to the space, making it inviting from the street as well as inside. DT Studio was also tasked with adding more space to accommodate crowds, allow it to function better for events, and create fewer maintenance issues. With a budget of only $50,000, they had to balance existing materials with a stimulating design, while providing a solution that met the requirements of the client. h a rd s c a p e s by Sam Henry, Dalhoff Thomas design|studio Hitting the Right Note At the heart of the Beale Street Entertainment District and just a few blocks away from the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Handy Park honors the 'Father of the Blues,' W.C. Handy. Since its construction in 1931, the Tennessee park had become run-down and unwelcoming. Dalhoff Thomas design|studio worked with the Downtown Memphis Commission to revitalize the park on a budget. While some of the existing site surfacing was kept, most of the hardscapes was replaced with stained concrete in a pattern true to the theme of the park.

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