Land architects and residents discuss potential layout for Evanston’s first skate park


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

Land architects presented three skate park design concepts at a discussion Tuesday.

Xuandi Wang, Reporter

Land architects presented initial concepts for Evanston’s first skate park and heard feedback from residents at a public forum Tuesday.

Representatives from Teska Associates, an Evanston urban planning and design firm, presented three initial concepts for the skate park. All of the designs incorporated bowls, quarter pipes and pump humps based on the results of a community poll last month.

Concept A and Concept C differed in the locations of the bike lane and the arrangement of other skate features. Concept B divided the skate park into two areas: one for beginners and one for advanced skaters.

After the architects discussed the concepts, the city allowed meeting participants to vote on which concept they liked best. Concept C won the most votes thanks to its layout of skate features, with many lauding it in the poll for having the best flow.

Evanston resident and skater James Haberl said he didn’t vote for Concept B, because dividing the skate park might prevent newer skaters from meeting more experienced ones. 

“Splitting the skate park into two halves means the beginners may never have the exposure to the more advanced skating skills,” Haberl said. “It won’t be ideal for the community in the long run.” 

The skate park will be built at the eastern end of Twiggs Park in the 5th Ward.

Jodi Mariano, the principal urban designer at Teska Associates, said the designers want to promote the inclusion of people with different skill levels and interests.

“We hope the skate park will welcome people of all ages, all skills and all wheels,” Mariano said. “Skateboards, longboarders, roller skaters, bikers…they can all come to the park to forge a larger community.” 

 City Council will hold two more meetings to narrow down the concepts and present the final vision before the bidding and negotiation processes, which are slated for September.

Stefanie Levine, the city’s senior project manager, said the city hopes to open the skate park in fall 2023. 

Levine said proposals such as adding a restroom and snake run won’t be feasible due to the project’s limited budget. Nevertheless, Levine remained hopeful that these ideas might be implemented and more skate parks could be built in the future. She encouraged residents to continue to express their interests to City Council. 

“Building this skate park is just step one,” Levine said. “Ultimately, skate parks can become another type of amenity we add, just like a playground or a basketball park. There is a process for that, and you should continue to follow that path.”

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