The City of Fort Wayne, Indiana has a rich history of Native American and European settlers that created strategic settlements and fortified camps at the confluence of three rivers - which have now evolved into the modern city. In recent years civic leaders have recognized the value of creating a series of riverfront attractions that strengthen downtown as a regional destination together with existing cultural and entrainment venues.
Following the creation of a conceptual master plan, Lamar Johnson Collaborative (LJC) was selected to provide landscape architectural design and implementation for Phase 1 of the St. Mary’s riverfront improvements. Managed by the City’s Planning Department, LJC was selected to reimagine a new waterfront amenity, Promenade Park. Through a series of design charrettes and presentations, the team fashioned goals into a designed solution that sought to meet the expectations of the city.
The activities of the park focus on increased recreational use of the river, dining and entertainment venues, programmed events, and ecological restoration. The riverfront design provides the community connection to the rivers and opportunities to experience the ebbs, flow, and sound of nature. This new park creates an equitable landscape for people of all ages, races, physical abilities, and economic situations.
Promenade Park opened to rave reviews from the community in August of 2019. The park is home to an urban plaza, flexible green, beer garden, treetop walk, playground, amphitheater, and waterfront promenade – all of which create a dynamic new destination linked to the Central Business District, Headwaters Park, surrounding venues, neighborhoods, and the extensive River Greenway Trails.
Riverfront Fort Wayne Promenade Park has received a number of awards/recognition since opening in 2019:
- ULI Americas Awards for Excellence Finalist, 2021
- Honorable Mention in Cities Category - Fast Companys 2020 Innovation by Design
- ASLA, St. Louis Chapter, Merit Award, 2019
- ASLA, Illinois Chapter, Merit Award, 2019
- ASLA Central States Chapter, Award of Excellence, 2019
- ASLA, Indiana Chapter, Award of Excellence, 2019
- ASLA St. Louis Chapter, Merit Award, Master Plan, 2016