Landscape Architect & Specifier News

APR 2018

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 22 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News In 2015, the Texas Legislature designated Abilene, Texas, as the Storybook Capital of Texas. In addition to this, the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature sits across the street from the Cultural Affairs Council, which is host to exhibitions of the original illustrations of storybooks, as well as arts activities for kids. These attributes made Abilene the perfect place for a storybook park. Lynn Barnett, the executive director of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, and Pam Tippen, a volunteer board member, sat down with me, Mitchell Wright, to discuss their vision of a new ambitious sculpture garden for downtown Abilene. The Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden was inaugurated on June 8, 2017, with a ribbon cutting and synced with the official start to the Children's Arts and Literacy Festival. On this day, thousands of people eagerly waited for their first glimpse of the new garden. As the landscape architect, my job was to create the garden space for these bronzes and associated settings. Being one of the most ambitious sculpture projects Abilene has ever seen, I was stimulated by the challenge. My idea for the project was that the city needed to create a space that is exciting and playful for kids. I wanted kids to walk through the park and have spaces be revealed, so that, looking across the garden, the sculptures are not all evident. Rebar became the material of choice due to its cost and availability. My team and I designed and created 86 rebar trees that drew lines across the site then we strung in strands of light. Number 6 rebar was used to create Abilene's Adamson-Spalding Storybook Garden p l a y g ro u n d by Mitchell Wright, ASLA, ALCP, LEED AP, Vista Planning & Design This sculpture garden in Abilene, Texas features scenes from Garth Williams' famous illustrations of many children's books. Five settings from his iconic illustrations are on display in the park; "Charlotte's Web," "Stuart Little," "The Three Little Pigs," "Goldilocks and The Three Bears," and the "Three Little Kittens."

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