South Park, San Francisco’s oldest public park, is a unique and historical area. The park, modeled after an English strolling park, was originally built as the centerpiece of this exclusive neighborhood. Years of activity, however, took their toll and the park fell into disrepair. The Recreation Park Department, South Park Improvement Association, park neighbors and community leaders wanted to restore it to its original glory.
The new design can be described as a contemporary interpretation of the English strolling garden. The project entailed upgrading the park’s infrastructure, including new paths, irrigation, drainage, site lighting, landscaping, swooping meadows and a new stage area for performances.
Play elements integrated into the flowing design include a banister, which provides an elegant alternative to a slide, and a multi-user, accessible saucer swing. The playground in any community provides a distinctive landmark; however, South Park is more than a playground. It provides a lesson in redesigning a public space; combining the play value needed by children with the aesthetic appeal and style desired by adults – making it the perfect place for the whole family.
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