Client: City of Manchester
Location: Manchester, IA, United States
Completion date: 2019
Confluence Landscape Architecture
Martin Gardner Architecture
This project represents Phase II of the Manchester White Water Project. Phase-I opened in June 2015 and features a tiered water course on the Maquoketa River that replaced an old roller dam. Growing from its success, the park expansion intends to bring more visitors to downtown by providing a direct connection from Main Street to the river. The park includes green-space for gathering, recreation, a public plaza, sidewalks, and bench swings along the river. It includes a park pavilion with restrooms, outdoor rinse-off showers, and an integrated covered picnic space that can also be used as a band shell.
Art became a primary feature of the project as a homage to local history and culture depicted by five metal art panels that front the (north) street side of the pavilion. The art panels were created from a historic photo that shows the last time the local Manchester-Oneida Rail line ran through town in 1951. The image was digitally half-toned, fabricated with a CNC-laser machine into sheet metal panels, and mounted on repurposed railroad rails. Other local features and history are highlighted on informational kiosks placed throughout the park. The park, along with the river and water feature will serve as the front lawn to downtown Manchester. Michael LeClere designed and coordinated the fabrication of the panels. Other project partners include Martin Gardner Architecture, Confluence Landscape Architecture, Fehr Graham, the City of Manchester, and Henderson Products
Collaboration was critical to this projects success. The park design itself was the result of a public input charrette where citizens participated in image preferencing exercises, site layout-design exercises, and other activities from which the designers refined a working site plan from. The image on the panels themselves were selected by the community and was the result of collaboration between the local library, local historical society, genealogical society, Council, board members, and citizen input and personal interviews.