City of Danville
Old West End Commons Park Master Plan
The Old West End Commons Master Plan provides the framework for guiding the City of Danville‘s efforts to create a new public park in the historically significant Old West End neighborhood, located near the heart of Danville, Virginia.
The Old West End neighborhood is undergoing a revitalization of its Victorian and Edwardian residences, and the park will serve as a shared public space for the neighborhood and all residents of Danville. The master plan included careful study of the site, surrounding area, and its history. The planning phases included a robust public input process.
Project challenges included site grading and drainage, accessibility and inclusive program elements, and a consideration of future maintenance efficiencies.
When deciding which concept to go with, our team worked with the City to choose a plan that is sensitive to both the desires and long-term goals of the community and City staff, in addition to meeting current and future needs of park users and City residents. At the core of the final site master plan are opportunities to expand recreation, enhance community social gatherings, and support health and wellness within a naturally beautiful park.
Overall: To meet the recreation goals of the City, various amenities are proposed, which include walking paths and natural surface trails, an open lawn area for a wide variety of activities, a gathering area to accommodate impromptu small events and performances, arboretum, picnic shelter, public art, seating, and bench swings. All of these amenities will be set amongst an aesthetically pleasing landscape that will include trees, shrubs, and perennials typical of the area. Aesthetically appropriate fencing has also been proposed to separate the public spaces of the park from adjacent private areas. The overall image of the park is to compliment the Victorian / Edwardian period typical of the Old West End neighborhood.
Site Grading / Drainage: The site grading predominantly utilized the natural grade and allowed water to sheet flow to an existing creek that runs along the northern boundary. Measures were taken to revitalize and enhance the stream as well.
Accessibility: A variety of paths throughout the park provide the opportunity for a safe and equitable recreation experience for all park users. Situated along the pathways, seating is proposed to give visitors an opportunity to rest and take in the sights and happenings of the park.
Inclusive Program: Along with unprogrammed space that facilitates a range of activities, other more intentional spaces support the recreational goals of the City. One such place is the sensory garden. These types of gardens are popular with and beneficial to all ages, from children to seniors, especially those who have sensory processing issues, including those individuals on the autism spectrum and people with other cognitive challenges.
Future Maintenance Efficiencies: During the master planning phase, careful consideration was given to ongoing maintenance needs for the park. In addition to selecting materials that are resilient, durable, and long lasting, the layout of the park also considered the surrounding neighbors and limited resources for park maintenance.
The final design of the passive park provides contemplative spaces and gathering areas that foster opportunities to strengthen bonds between residents of the Old West End and within Danville, as a whole.
“Providing this neighborhood park to the community will provide a beautiful location for the neighbors to enjoy their time together. This project will take an unsightly site and turn it into a place that the neighbors can be proud of.”
The Old West End community is a historic community. The park project will enhance the community and create a central neighborhood park that will provide beauty and enjoyment for generations to come.