Several designs chosen in Beale Street's Handy Park challenge

By Michelle Corbet  –  Reporter, Memphis Business Journal

Jun 29, 2018, 2:09pm

Redesigning Beale Street's Handy Park is going to be a collaborative endeavor.

Designs from several firms, including Kimley-Horn and Brg3s and designshop, were selected after public input and review.

“I’m excited about seeing how several of these designs could work together,” said Jon Shivers, director of Beale Street. “Beale is the most iconic street in the world; it is only fitting that we rethink and reimagine what the park can be.” 

In March, the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) tasked architects with reimagining Handy Park as a community gathering space with a budget of $250,000. However, most decided to design outside of the initial budget, and the DMC is now working with the selected design groups to determine which elements are feasible.

All of the winners included components that were within budget and could make an impact using the amount of money the DMC allocated.

"We’re really interested in determining if there is a way for us to work collaboratively with more than one of the design groups," said Penelope Huston, DMC vice president of marketing, communications and events.

The designs were reviewed by the DMC, Beale Street staff, Downtown stakeholders and security consultants. A meeting was held June 19, combined with an online portal, to gather public feedback.

"During the public meeting, people were piecing multiple parts of the designs and melding them together, saying 'This group is my favorite, but wouldn’t it be great if they could add the lighting from this one or the stage from that one,'" Huston said.

Next, the DMC will meet with winners to determine if the designs could be combined cohesively.

Handy Park Design Challenge winners: 

  1. Handy Park: A Civic Space Revival — Kimley-Horn: Mike Hammond, Henry Minor and Cameron Cooper; Brg3s: Brett Ragsdale, Jason Jackson, Derek Hukill, Jay Sweeney and Rogean Cadieux-Smith 
  2. Handy Park: The Pivot Point — Allen & Hoshall; Taylor Coleman, Zach Webband Michel Lebel 
  3. Tie between The Big Lawn — designshop: Tim Michael, Kelly May, Scott Guidry and Emily Redding; and Covered in Blues — UrbanARCH & Associates