Community Architecture

Madison Avenue Central Park

About the Project

Designed to be a centerpiece for the community, this park hosts events such as the lighting of the City’s Christmas tree, local farmers markets, craft shows, and many other events year-round. The site was formerly a church, school, nunnery and rectory, with a large city storm overflow channel running through the park. Our plan re-purposed the former gym as a multi-purpose building and event venue.

The development process of this plan began in 2011 when our team started with the master planning/conceptualization phase. The city formed a Park Advisory Committee comprised of Derby community members organized by the Public Works Department. WDM started a social media community outreach and hosted a Facebook page to post progress and be open to community input. Through this process, many ideas were generated and tested to find the perfect balance of open space and refined development. Construction began in the spring of 2015, and the park opened to the public in August 2016.

Madison Avenue Central Park includes a splash pad, custom play equipment, park shelters, an amphitheater, walking paths and open fields. The drainage ditch was modified to provide a more natural creek environment through the use of native plantings, footbridges, outdoor classroom areas, and green open space. Twenty-eight different species of trees are marked by educational signage with species I.D., so the public can be better informed when choosing trees to plant on their own properties. Derby is a “Tree City USA” town.

“When we started the planning process for Madison Avenue Central Park, we were looking for really big dreams, a new way of thinking, something unexpected for a small town, a big city feel, a broader scope of creativity. Now, it has become the standard for all Derby Parks moving forward.”

Robert Mendoza

Director of Public Works for the City of Derby

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