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2012 Award of Honor - Washington Street Park
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Project Category:  Open Space

Project Name:  Washington Street Park

Project Location:  Tampa, Florida 33607

Date of Completion:  December 2011

Landscape Architect:  Stantec Planning and Landscape Architecture, LLC


Owner:  City of Tampa - Parks and Recreation Department 

Landscape Contractor:  New Vista Builders Group 

Project Location/Size/Site/Context

This half-acre urban park is located in downtown Tampa at the southwest corner of Washington Street and N. 12th Street in Tampa’s Channel District. In recent years the Channel District has undergone tremendous redevelopment as a former industrial waterfront warehouse district, by adding thousands of residential units, entertainment destinations and retail.  With this development, came the need for increased public open space. Washington Street Park is the City’s answer to this need in a succinct, environmentally-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing manner. 

Project Scope/Program

The City of Tampa recently welcomed its newest addition to the City Park system. Located in the mixed-use Channel District, Washington Street Park was developed to address the increased open space needs of the neighborhood.  It was also meant as an economic driver to encourage more residential activity in the district and bring people onto the street to enliven the retail opportunities and foster a sense of community.

The design process began by gathering neighborhood input during three charrette-style community meetings where local residents voiced their needs and interests for the new park. During the initial meeting, attendees were divided into small groups where they developed hands-on conceptual plans illustrating their vision for the park.  From those multiple ideas, a synthesized conceptual master plan was developed to meet the most pressing community needs and desires. The resident’s approved the park’s conceptual master plan with minor revisions. Construction documents were then developed and approved, the project was then bid and constructed.

The creative design is based on a nautical theme as the neighborhood’s origin is a port warehouse district in close proximity to Tampa Bay. It was important to the community to provide space for flexible uses, shade elements, an art component and a dog run within the limited acreage. The design includes a dog run, spiral entry columns, a sinuous circulation path, alternative play features, a sail pavilion, unusual light features, specialty paving, and lawn areas to create a variety of outdoor spaces and uses throughout the park.

An oversized sea grass sculpture, custom concrete entry columns, sea grass entry sign, and a sail like shade structure provide iconic focal elements for the neighborhood during the day, and are illuminated at night with innovative, strategically placed lighting. Pinpoint fiber optic LED lighting highlight the main entry columns with subtle spots of light. The sea grass sculpture blades and disks shine with changing color wheel enhancements, and the shade structure glows with soft spot lighting. Site lighting is complimented with light pole fixtures surrounded by blue neon tubing, and spot lights on the palm trees. An exposed blue glass terrazzo surface treatment on white concrete introduces color in the ground plane, winding sinuously along the main path.

The synthetic, K-9 turf, dog run is surrounded by fencing and plantings, and is heavily used on a daily basis. The dogs are natural ice breakers allowing residents to get to know one another. Attractive seating and site furnishings beckon pedestrians and bicyclists to pause and enjoy the surroundings. The shade structure is large enough to accommodate groups, and the site furnishings can be moved to utilize the space as an outdoor classroom. The park has quickly become a gathering place for local residents, with and without four-legged friends.

This park not only fulfilled the need for more park acreage in the City of Tampa (especially in urban areas) it helps foster economic development by creating a more desirable, secure neighborhood. Adjacent retail shops have opened in response to the new park space.

Environmental Considerations

Pinpoint fiber optic LED lighting highlight the main entry columns with subtle spots of light. The LED lighting and irrigation systems are connected to the city’s centrally controlled computerized system for efficiency, and continue the City’s commitment to green infrastructure. The irrigation system utilizes a well as the water source and drip irrigation to cut down water demand.  The use of drought tolerant plant material and K-9 turf (artificial turf) in the dog run, also lessen the demand for water.


Senior Project Manager, Project Landscape Architect:  Lea D. Del Tosto, ASLA, CLARB

Stantec Planning and Landscape Architecture LLC

Project Manager, Civil Engineering:  Jose DeJesus, PE  - Stantec Consulting, Inc.

Client – City of Tampa:

Bob McDonaugh, Administrator of Economic Opportunity/Channel District CRA Director

City of Tampa Economic Development 

City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Planning and Design Manager:

Brad Suder, ASLA, RLA, Superintendent, Planning & Design

City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department 

City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Project Manager: 

Peg Bors, ASLA, RLA, Landscape Architect III

City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department 

General Contractor:  New Vista Builders Group - Lazaro Fernandez

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