Park Central Square
Park Central Square is currently undergoing a major renovation to restore it to the vision originally intended by Halprin & Associates (see below). Project highlights include:
- More open and inviting design will mesh with new pedestrian-friendly streetscapes now surrounding the Square
- Twice as many trees once completed
- Improved lighting and infrastructure for community events
- Renovation of the fountain, including installation of energy-efficient components
- Replacement of aged and worn pavers
- Total cost is $1.78 million — $1.2 million from a federal HUD grant and $580,000 from the 1/4-Cent Sales Tax for Capital Improvements
- Scheduled completion date: November 2011
The Original Vision
Park Central Square was designed by renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and his team in the early 1970s. The space was intended to be, in Halprin's words, "an active space for public assembly, devoted to pedestrians and their needs and comforts."
Even before it was remade by one of America's premiere modern landscape architects, Springfield's town square was the site of numerous historical episodes including the shootout between "Wild" Bill Hickok and Dave Tutt in 1865, the Trail of Tears, the Butterfield Overland Stage route, and Route 66. Throughout much of the 20th century it was the heart of commerce and shopping in southwest Missouri. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in February 2010.