The reconstruction of Elizabeth Link Peace Park is a journey of nearly 10 years, culminating in completed construction in 2010. The space, just under 1/2 acre, was utilized for parking before being obtained by the city for a small downtown park space. The park was named for Elizabeth Link, a local peace advocate. The park “devolved” primarily due to lack of other activities and users in the park. Ironically, Peace Park was often known, annually, as the number one location for police calls in Downtown Madison, WI.
Ken Saiki Design led a consultant team selected for the implementation. The Gilman Street side of Peace Park is enlivened with seating, game tables, improved terrace condition and access to on-street parking. The design creates an ADA compliant route linking State St. and Gliman St. to encourage its use as a shortcut between the two streets. A central space includes a low-flow, small scale water feature to appeal to families with children, a stage and infrastructure for performances of varying scales and a reconfigured lawn area for performance seating and informal gathering. Landscape is seasonally colorful, provides shade for hardscaped areas, and yet allows for good visual access and surveillance throughout the park. The park was publicly opened and rededicated in October, 2010.
The design of the park is a case study in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). The visitor center host’s the Downtown Business Improvement District’s (BID) “Ambassador Program”. Staff and volunteers provide visitor information throughout operating hours. A small office in the building provides a workspace for the police beat officer, with views out to the park. The building is designed to eliminate blind corners from streets into the interior of the park.
-Client: City of Madison Parks Department