The official opening of West U’s newest greenspace, the 15,000-square-foot Jennie Elizabeth Hughes Park at 6446 Sewanee St., was appropriately peaceful, with a modest ribbon cutting ceremony and appreciation for the elegant simplicity of the design.
Tucked onto the corner of a neighborhood with narrow streets, park designers sought to use a “front porch” theme to blend in with surrounding homes. So it features a covered front porch entry at the corner of Sewanee and Pittsburg, complete with a ceiling fan, recessed lighting and rocking chairs looking out to a large open greenspace in the center of the park.
Other features include a dry stream bed with a button-activated water feature, benches, log seats, a picnic table, new trees, a donor area, and tasteful landscaping.
The park features unobtrusive lighting that takes advantage of natural features to make the park attractive even at night. In keeping with the quiet residential neighborhood, the park perimeter includes an eight-foot tall cedar fence and high profile vegetative screening.
The park was made possible by a bequest from longtime West University Place resident James M. Hughes, who donated the property and $200,000 to be used for the design and development of a quiet park honoring his mother Jennie Elizabeth Hughes on the double lot she had purchased and where she had raised her family. The Friends of West University Place Parks Fund, Inc. (www.westuparks.org) funded an additional $300,000 for the remaining construction expenses.
“This new park adds to the wonderful variety of green space within our city with features that invite our residents to enjoy peaceful contemplation and the natural beauty to be found in West U,” said Mayor Susan Sample. “It is a tremendous gift to the community, which would not be possible without the generosity of Mr. Hughes and the benevolence of the Friends of West U Parks, who through their continued support, help make our parks truly special.”
Article appeared in Essentials Magazine, December 2018