Unsolicited Endorsement: LeBauer Park

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A Janet Echelman sculpture in Portugal
A Janet Echelman sculpture in Portugal

by Eric Ginsburg

LeBauer Park isn’t supposed to open until March 2016 and several elements of the planned downtown Greensboro space are still being worked out, but there is already an exact time set for the groundbreaking. This Nov. 19 at 11 a.m. will mark the beginning of the physical manifestation of a community space we will be lucky to have.

Carolyn LeBauer left most of her estate for this purpose, a pretty remarkable legacy. In addition to some of the commonly discussed components of the park — namely a play area specifically designed for kids, some impressive gardening work and a new stage — planners are also designing an interactive water feature and would like to see a bike-share program, too.

The variety of components is one of the most exciting elements of the planned park. But if Lynn Wooten, vice president of marketing and communications at the Community Foundation (which is handling the creation of the park), had to pick one aspect that is most exciting, it’s the inclusion of a suspended aerial sculpture “that is unlike anything most people have ever seen.”

With a $1 million grant to pay for it, the planning team was able to hire Boston-based artist Janet Echelman to design a sculpture that will hang over a significant portion of the park’s lawn.

Even a cursory glance at Echelman’s work is breathtaking. It floats in Amsterdam, Sydney, Vancouver, Singapore, Madrid… international cities so large I don’t need to list the country, let along the state.

“It’s a big deal and I think it’s going to amaze a lot of people,” Wooten said. “It is going to be the destination place for families and people coming from out of town. It is going to take downtown to a completely different level.”

That’s the sort of rhetoric we’ve been hearing a lot lately about different projects in downtown Greensboro, and while we still haven’t seen finalized plans for LeBauer Park, the possibilities are exciting.

  • The Piedmont Blues Preservation Society’s Carolina Blues Festival is excited about the prospects of christening LeBauer Park with the Blues for its 30th Anniversary in 2016

  • Todd Haley

    I am curious as to why this article doesn’t include where the park is going to be?

  • Jordan Green

    Todd, the location of the future LeBauer Park is where Festival Park is currently located, next door to Cafe Europa and the Greensboro Cultural Center.