Plans for MAPS park in downtown Oklahoma City taking shape

A “great lawn,” a recreational lake and a prominent pedestrian promenade are among the central features of the latest park design unveiled Thursday by the consultant group tasked with its design. A final proposal for the $132 million project will be presented at a public meeting in January.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: December 14, 2012
Advertisement
;

The focus of an urban park proposed for just south of downtown Oklahoma City will be a “great lawn” that will rival that of the one at Central Park in New York City.

At six acres, the proposed public gathering place will be almost half the size of the Central Park lawn but six times larger than the open space at Myriad Botanical Gardens across the street.

Residents who comprise the oversight board for the $132 million MAPS 3 project said they were excited about the park's potential after the latest draft was unveiled by its design consultants, Hargreaves Associates, on Thursday.

“They've still got more studying to do and work to do, but it's fascinating to see what that park will be and to dream of what the view of the skyline will be from the park,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum and a member of the MAPS park subcommittee.

The plan presented to the subcommittee Thursday is a mixture of three previous designs developed by Hargreaves and presented at a public meeting in October.

Park to be 70 acres

The new design proposal incorporates elements from all three previous proposals and was developed based on comments and suggestions lodged at the public meeting, at subcommittee meetings and during informal conversations with the city council, said Mary Margaret Jones, landscape architect with Hargreaves.

The 70-acre park will be bordered by the proposed boulevard and convention center to the north — also part of the MAPS 3 package approved by voters in 2009 — and by the Oklahoma River to the south.

Continue reading this story on the...