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Ella Fitzgerald Park

Client: City of Detroit
Collaboration: Spackman Mossop Michaels
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Construction Budget: $100,000 – $250,000
Completion Date: 2018

The playground at Ella Fitzgerald Park in Detroit, Michigan is a part of a much larger revitalization plan for the Fitzgerald neighborhood.  Sitting on land that used to be a collection of abandoned houses and overgrown vacant lots, the park now includes a sports field, basketball court, picnic area and community murals in addition to the piano inspired playground!

The central playground feature is a single-level heptagonal tower with a 6 foot stainless steel slide.  The staining on the tower subtly reflects piano keys and the seven sides reference the seven notes of a musical scale, a reflection on Ella Fitzgerald’s music and legacy.  The tower is accessed by a post and rope climber and rope net from ground level or by crawling up inside the structure.  A large log jam® climbing structure with nets and ropes is an exciting and challenging play opportunity for older children.  A cluster of log steppers can be accessed by younger children and a basket swing entertains kids of all ages.  The entire playground design is long and rectilinear and is surrounded by seating and new and mature trees to provide needed shade.