Veterans Memorial Park
City of Stanton
APWA – Project of the Year
CPRS Project of the Year
Part of a two year Capitol Improvement Program, Veterans Memorial Park was finished on schedule for a dedication ceremony held Veterans Day, November 11, 2007.
Nearby parks are being designed now to complement this urban park where the memorial sits. Funding was appropriated during the fiscal year of 2006-2007. For a city of around 39,000 people Stanton has just 8.6 acres dedicated to parks at this time.
The site which was chosen for the Veterans Memorial Park is located directly across from the City’s City Hall and Civic Center on a heavily traveled street. This site was an unimproved dirt lot that was an eye sore in the community. Dead trees, trash piles, and a beat-up traffic signal box made this area a magnet for loitering and graffiti. Completely transformed it is now a natural looking memorial in a park setting. There are raised planters, low maintenance and fully lit, with graffiti coating to discourage tagging. Notches placed around the planters control chipping and damage from skaters. Designed with consideration to the environment, Veterans park has drought tolerant plantings, low use water system and defused pavers. It has become a community gathering place adding to community pride and forward vision for the city.
The focal point of the park is a 15 foot tall six sided central memorial which was made from a combination of honed white granite and polished black granite the memorial honors the sacrifices from the men and women of the United States armed services. An inscription pays honor to the local residents who have served our country and the monument is accented by 50 cast bronze stars. A half sphere dome made from six stars finishes the memorial and is topped by a bronze eagle in full flight. The memorial is beautifully illuminated at night and sets the tone for the whole park. Located behind this central monument are six honed green granite columns. The face of each column is polished and each features one of six military seals cast in bronze. Behind these columns is a grass hill symbolizing that service in the military is often a daunting task and uphill struggle.
“This firm has provided Stanton with creative services on several municipal projects. ” – James Box, Assistant City Manager – City of Stanton
The park also features an inspirational wall with patriotic quotes engraved in natural sandstone. This inspirational wall is framed with six sided precast concrete pilasters. Additional walls in the park are veneered with the same sand stone and hexagonal pilasters. The paved areas feature colored concrete with a mix of bold red and charcoal colored pavers symbolizing the stars and stripes of the American Flag. A regimented post fence stands perfectly aligned around segments of the park like soldiers standing guard. Two flag poles proudly fly our Country flag, the City flag, as well as the P.O.W. and M.I.A. flags.
This park, located near the Civic Center, provides a year round gathering place for civic events and ceremonies. The natural materials add warmth to the park’s atmosphere making it a calming place to gather, or a pleasant place to stop. Park benches provide a place for respite or reflection. It is a destination for many and provides an opportunity for patriotic education for children. It has uplifted the community and encouraged neighborhood and country pride.
To minimize public inconvenience due to construction on this busy street, the existing curb and gutters were left in place, eliminating the need for street repairs. The existing walkway was maintained and there was no loss of parking. For safety, the traffic signal box was relocated during the evening hours to lesson impact on the community and there by maintaining flow of traffic.
“The focal point of the park is a 15 foot tall six sided central memorial which was made from a combination of honed white granite and polished black granite the memorial honors the sacrifices from the men and women of the United States armed services.”
The designers, city council, and city staff, worked together with various community organizations, especially the community’s veterans, to create a design that reflected their ideas. Great attention was taken to implement the vision and desires of all. The result is pride in their community and, as one man said, a park that is truly theirs.
This outstanding capital improvement project exemplifies quality design and community input working together to provide the city a place full of meaning and pride. It allows for outreach and education in a beautiful, interesting setting, an inviting landscape where the community can gather to find fun, inspiration and well-being. Veterans Memorial Park in the City of Stanton truly is a unique, special place that draws life from the environs and the community itself.