What started as a dream in the tiny backyard of a Little Italy rowhouse in 2006 is one step closer to reality. On Thursday May 5, 2011 there was an official groundbreaking for Pierce’s Park, a joint Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance and Waterfront Partnership initiative. Governor Martin O’Malley, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, former US Senator Paul Sarbanes along with other city officials and downtown families were on hand for the ceremonial “first dig”.
The park, on a one acre parcel along Eastern Ave. in front of the Colombus Center and across from Pier V Hotel, is being created in the memory of Waterfront Partnership board member Pierce Flanigan III. Many of the park elements reflect his love of the outdoors and artistic creativity. There will be two sculptural elements created by local artist David Hess. The larger one will give children the opportunity to climb and slide over and through an abstract piece nestled in large granite boulders. The smaller is two low domes- perfect for younger children to climb up and slide down. In addition to the many trees and native plantings there will be a living willow tunnel built by local families that children can run through. Etched in the pavers will be pairs of homophones (words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings)- a fun educational component that helps build reading and literacy skills in a whimsical manner. There will also be a “musical” fence- the fence will create different tones when struck.
Pierce’s Park will be a unique space for Baltimore residents and visitors to explore, relax and interact with in the heart of the city. The park construction is under way, and park opening is expected in Fall 2011.