An “artsy” refit for the waterfront skate park? Sure, but why has City Hall allowed it to become an “eyesore,” anyway?

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You know, adjacent to the neglected amphitheater. 

With no disrespect to the Carnegie’s Daniel Pfalzgraf, who has identified a viable opportunity in Nawbany’s forever neglected riverfront skate park, and by doing so is thinking so far outside our self-imposed local boxes that he might as well be curating the museum on Saturn, the place to start at the skate park is repairing and improving what already is there, then moving forward with more costly ideas — and (dare we mention it) connecting these ideas with something approximating a Riverfront Amphitheater master plan.

Conversely, if City Hall remains aloof to waterfront possibilities, preferring its newer shiny objects to the daily grind of maintaining existing facilities, far better to cut it out of the plan as much as possible, and “placemake” independently.

Pfalzgraf is on to something, and in moving forward there is one absolutely huge imperative, one the city customarily ignores: None of these ideas should begin gestation without the direct participation of those currently using the space.

They should be asked, and any plans should pass their approval. If they’re asked and decline participation, then let the inevitable campaign finance monetization begin.

Absent the public aspect of placemaking, we’ll have yet another imperfect target for excessive expenditure that looks peachy keen on the outside, to the detriment of its intended functionality (see Park, Bicentennial).

FROM EYESORE TO OPPORTUNITY: Carnegie Center talks artsy plans for New Albany skate park; Carnegie curator hopes to create a skate-able work of public art, by Danielle Grady (News and Tribune)

… (Daniel) Pfalzgraf also hopes to ask for proposals from artists, local or regional, detailing their ideas on how to make the park look unique.

He wants passersby to have the same experience looking at the renovated skate park as they would looking at any other work of art, he said.

If nothing else, Pfalzgraf just wants to repair what’s already at the park and maybe give it a paint job.

“We’d love to make it a huge event and completely revamp it, but we’ll basically do whatever’s possible,” he said …

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