West Side Park is located on 31 acres of land in the Central Ward of the City of Newark between South 17th & South 13th Streets. Originally acquired as a “neighborhood park”, it is the ninth largest park in the county system and was designed by the Olmstead Brothers, a well-known landscape architecture firm. West Side Park was developed on top of a hill overlooking a lake. The lake was later filled with soil to create flatland for play activities. Today, the park is programmed with activities for the community ranging from ball fields and court sports to playgrounds and a community center. Continuing its long-time tradition of creating great parks for people, Essex County committed to upgrading the playground to match other improvements made to the park.
Arterial was commissioned to redesign the playground to accommodate a growing population of children along with creating a safer, more secure area. The relocation of the playground itself from behind the community center to alongside it allows greater visibility from the parking lot and surrounding paths, eliminating hidden areas. The design itself plays off the history of the park being known for its magnolia trees. At the center of the playground is “magnolia hill”, which features oversized flower shade structures, various insect climbers and a large central net climber. The entire playground is lined with magnolia trees. Age-appropriate play equipment is provided to allow both the younger and older children the opportunity for safe play on various components. Other elements include: rubberized safety surface, new fence and sidewalks, seat wall and benches.
Newark, New Jersey
Essex County Parks Department
David Lustberg, Principal in Charge
James Ribaudo, Lead Designer/PM
Anticipated Construction, Spring 2016
Total Project Size
1. Visioning & Concept Design
2. Construction Documentation
3. Construction Administration
West Side Park Playground Improvements
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