John Venezia Park

Colorado Springs, CO | 2017

Inspired by letters from elementary school children petitioning the mayor of Colorado Springs for a new park and preservation need to save an endangered species, John Venezia donated 80 key acres in the fastest growing area of the city. The Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department would use 30 acres for education and recreation. The program of the park was developed through community meetings and evolved throughout the design process as the needs of the community were expressed.

The project began in 2008. After an initial stage of design and construction documentation the project was shelved, just after the market crash of that year. Eventually, with the help of community funding and petition, the project was resurrected and ultimately completed in early 2017, nearly 9 years after its genesis. The park was designed to be fully accommodating, all 30 acres of the park being universally accessible – something especially challenging and rare in a mountain community. This allows the entire public to enjoy the park. The building assemblies implemented in the park’s construction were designed to mirror the history of the typologies employed, but used modern materials in an effort to increase durability. The design of the park seeks to embody the style of its traditional building types while creating something that will last – structures that will endure the stress and wear of weather and human interaction.

The park takes on a ranch theme, honoring Colorado’s unique heritage. The buildings, while modern in material and in the processes of their construction, speak the language of the traditional Homestead building type, creating for the park goer an experience of Colorado’s rural history in a thoroughly modern and developed environment. The community surrounding the park has been extensively developed – a dense hybrid of commercial and residential properties. The use of natural grasses for landscaping throughout the site and at its perimeter has allowed the park to integrate itself into its natural habitat. If you would like to learn more about John Venezia Park visit their website here for more information about location, hours of operation, and pavilion rentals.