The project adds 47,000 square feet of new green space—more than 18%--to the park, by demolishing the outdated Great and Long halls and removing the existing 110-space surface parking lot, replacing it with a 179-space subterranean garage. The roof of the garage will become a grassy play grove for children. With eight distinct outdoor areas, a new, 3,500-square-foot preschool, and completely updated Fiesta Hall, Plummer Park will become a true multipurpose, green heart of the community—an urban oasis akin to Bryant Park in New York (also re-designed by OLIN).
The formerly cluttered park is reimagined as a pedestrian-first experience, with each zone emphasizing reflection, repose, play, or engagement, as one moves through paseos, into the Fiesta Hall gardens, and through the Memorial Garden, Palm Grove and Reading Green. Three garage elevator pavilions provide easy access to parking from the Community Center and new garden “rooms.” A new fountain will provide inviting play opportunities and serve as a reference beacon when lit at night. Trellis-like folly structures pop up at strategic points on the lawn, providing an opportunity for vegetation to grow and provide shade to benches.
The new preschool is clad in brilliantly colored layers of durable, EPDM synthetic rubber panels, with porthole windows at different head heights, and fenced rooftop deck with views across the park. The panels scroll off the building, forming undulating surfaces on which to play or sit. A play area is situated immediately north of the pre-school, while a new basketball court, with state-of-the-art athletic surfaces, lies to the south.
In addition to updating the Fiesta Hall’s lighting and sound systems, acoustics, furnishings, and mechanical systems, Brooks + Scarpa is adding a new main entrance, featuring a sweeping curved roof and glassed-in patio, which integrates with the new great lawn, where performances and events can take advantage of the smooth, graduated indoor-outdoor transition. The auditorium will be reconfigured into a “black box,” which allows more flexibility for different types of programs.
Summary of Improvements to Plummer Park:
• Fiesta Hall improvements:
o New lighting and sound systems
o Improved acoustics
o New furnishings
o Improvements to Fiesta Hall’s main entry, outside patio area, main auditorium, stage, dressing rooms, restrooms, lobby and kitchen areas;
o New heating and ventilation system
o Adding a 99-seat “black box” configuration to Fiesta Hall for cultural performances
• Enhancing the existing green space in the center of Plummer Park
• Creating a central park promenade that will run east-west from Vista Street to Fuller Avenue
• Establishing a quiet formal garden in the area fronting Fuller Street
• Creating additional green space throughout the park
• Adding an interactive water feature
• Constructing a new Tiny Tot Program (preschool) building to replace an outdated modular building
• Constructing an auto court for vehicle drop-off at the Vista entrance to Fiesta Hall
• A subterranean parking structure will be constructed that will serve the public, park users and businesses. It will also provide for the creation of 47,000 square feet of new additional parkland and open space at Plummer Park.