Construction has begun on Redbud Park in North Topeka. The new park will anchor the northeast corner of NOTO at the southeast corner of N. Kansas Avenue and N.E. Gordon Street.
The area will feature a live music stage, a sculpture garden and food truck court, as well as meeting space, kitchen, restrooms and play areas.
“Everyone who has been associated with this project, both current and past, are elated,” said Thomas Underwood, NOTO executive director. “When I started as executive director in October 2017, Redbud Park was little more than a concept, a vision that addressed the ‘why.’
This park will continue to enhance the redevelopment of North Topeka’s historic downtown, and will be a great addition to First Friday Art Walks.
It will cost $900,000 to build the park, Underwood said.
The Joint Economic Development Organization voted to earmark $644,000 for the project in December.
“Having green space in an urban area is of value,” said Underwood. “Having art in an urban area is of value. Having art as an interface with this neighborhood is of value. People love NOTO. People love coming down to NOTO. People think NOTO’s cool but NOTO is more than a First Friday. NOTO is every day.”
Other money raised will go to street lighting, beautification and art displays. The project’s price tag also includes money for a main entrance to be known as Claire’s Corner, featuring a replica of a sculpture by the late Claire Swogger, who along with her husband, Glenn, created the Redbud Foundation focusing on arts, culture and the humanities.
Located across the street from the NOTO Arts Center, Redbud Park is expected to be a gathering place that will feature numerous art displays and serve as a space for bands and other entertainers.
Total cost of renovations will be $2.1 million, and is expected to be finished by fall of 2019.
For more information, read Falk Architect’s blog. There are some really cool future things in store.