The Friends of Beechwood Park is a group of neighbors who have come together to repurpose a vacant space on their block and turn it into a new park.
The vacant area on Beechwood Avenue between Baxter Avenue and Bardstown Road used to be the site of Victorian homes that were torn down when the parking lot for Mid City Mall in the Highlands was being constructed.
After the homes were demolished, there was a vacant, grassy space, left in its wake.
“People use it lightly. People walk their dogs through here,” said Kristen Millwood, vice president of the Friends of Beechwood Park. “But there’s really a lot of potential … and we’re really excited to add another park to Louisville.”
The land is not publicly owned, but it will be open to the public and the neighborhood encourages people to come use the space once construction is finished.
The design was done by Gresham Smith & Partners, an architect firm in Louisville. Their goal was to honor the history of what used to occupy the area and keep with the Victorian aesthetic of the neighborhood.
“Part of what we do is we like to design the way we live,” said Jared Kaelin, an urban designer with the firm. “And part of that is active community spaces and places for people to hang out. We kind of modeled a family space or a gathering space after the footprint of a Victorian home.”
On Saturday, August 19, there will be a party held on the block from 4-8 p.m. to raise money for the project.
There will be food vendors, a beer tent, activities for kids, as well as virtual reality goggles that visitors can put on to digitally experience what the park will look like when it is finished.
“It will bring out more awareness to what we’re doing,” said President of the Friends of Beechwood Park, Brian Caudill. “Maybe other groups would like to see how we did it and we’ll gladly mentor them through the process.”
Caudill also said “The Highlands loves a party,” and encourages people to come see what they are doing.
The event is free but donations are welcome from people who would like to contribute to the park.