Dream Team Transforms Parking Space Into Park for a Day

Crain Volunteers

Crain Construction, Smith Gee Studio and ORI teamed to create a temporary public park in Germantown as part of the Civic Design Center’s annual PARK(ing) Day on Sept. 18.

PARK(ing) Day explores ways parking spaces can be transformed into creative public space and calls attention to the need for more parks and open urban space. This year participants spread throughout the city and partnered with local businesses to create auxiliary outdoor seating for restaurants and extensions of retail space that accommodate social distancing.

The Dream Team — Crain Construction, Smith Gee Studio and ORI — partnered with The Cupcake Collection and installed a temporary street-wide, dream-themed parklet outside the Germantown bakery at 1213 Sixth Avenue North.

The attention-grabbing Dream Parklet incorporated seating areas spaced at a safe distance, colorful street patterns and large three-dimensional letters spelling “DREAM.” The oversized letters also doubled as seating and counter space. Visitors were encouraged to post their dreams and dreams they have for their neighborhoods and city.

“We all have aspirations and we wanted to hear about the dreams others have,” said Ron Yearwood, urban designer with Smith Gee Studio and leader for the group’s PARK(ing) Day project. “We’re interested in learning how we can be supportive of one another and work together to accomplish common goals.”

Recreational Concepts, Artisan Landscape Group LLC and Forever Lawn of Tennessee donated materials for Dream Parklet.

“We work with creative firms to build structures every day,” said Michael Rankin, president/CEO of Crain Construction. “PARK(ing) Day offered us an opportunity to collaborate with partners on a fun and inspired community project that is also part of a global movement.”

Six teams created physical parklets around Nashville while others submitted virtual-designed parklets displayed on the Civic Design Center website.

PARK(ing) Day began as a small pop-up installation to highlight the need for more urban public space in San Francisco in 2005. It has grown to a worldwide movement that takes place on the third Friday of September each year. The Civic Design Center has organized PARK(ing) Day in Nashville since 2012.

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