Norfolk lays out a new welcome mat
When cruise ship passengers disembark in Norfolk, Va., one of the first places they see is the nine-acre Town Point Park, which reopened in July after an extensive renovation. The park, which has been a popular location for civic events since it opened 25 years ago, now can accommodate larger gatherings, performances and festivals.
Situated along the Elizabeth River, Town Point Park’s aging infrastructure and inefficient layout limited the site’s ability to host large events, and the grounds were worn. The city hired locally based architect MMM Design Group and Vienna, Va.-based LSG Landscape Architecture to redesign the park so it could host larger crowds and multiple tents; improve access to the waterfront; enhance pedestrian circulation and safety; and include a cohesive design scheme for signs, site artifacts and public art.
Town Point Park, which reopened in time for the city’s annual July 4 event, HarborFest, now has four stages and can be opened into the adjacent street for larger events. It also links two veterans memorials, prominently displays the city’s historic anchor, and incorporates the city’s iconic mermaid symbol throughout the park. The renewed landscaping includes nearly 200 new trees, more than 1,300 shrubs, more than 2,000 perennials, and more than 8,000 ornamental grasses and ground covers. A donor program helped raise funds for bricks, benches, an interactive fountain and a new amphitheater.