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First Ward Park

Shadley Associates won an invited national competition to design this entirely new 4.6 acre park located in downtown Charlotte. Well connected with Center City, the First Ward Neighborhood and the University of North Carolina Charlotte, the park attracts visitors from greater Charlotte and beyond. One of four major park spaces in the City, First Ward Park benefits from an existing on-site light rail station, adjacent restaurants and offices, the First Ward Elementary School, the University of North Carolina Charlotte Center City, and ImagineON, a children’s library and performing arts center which attracts over 500,000 visitors annually.

The park design uses seat walls of native Carolina granite and native trees and shrubs to frame an open central lawn.  The granite walls embody the famous geology of the region and give definition to the park’s many garden sub-spaces. There are numerous entrances into the park, a garden walking circuit around the perimeter, and many paths through it. Park features include two large fountains, an arbor, public art and areas for diverse programs. 

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