David Street Station is a multi-activity plaza and outdoor event space at the junction of Downtown Casper and the Old Yellowstone District. Uniquely Wyoming, uniquely Casper, the design was inspired by Casper’s long history with oil, the area’s core identity as the heart of the American West, and the City’s proximity to abundant natural beauty. This three part history - that of being an oil city, a western cowboy town, and in the shadow of Casper Mountain was celebrated in the design through the wood pillars that are branded with the logo, the lighting that recalls the oil rigs on the plains, and the looping skating rink that has skaters scooting around a narrow “river” channel.
The Station is divided into two primary use areas: the concert lawn and the plaza, with a comfort station at their intersection. It has been designed for year round use by all age groups, with planned activities and unprogrammed spaces to meet every need. This space hosts live music and performances of all types, while also having permanent infrastructure for evening events, a summer time splash pad, and a unique winter time ice skating rink. Flexibility, adaptability, and ease of use are key for the success of the space. Events from small parties to regional festivals can fit at the space with the ability to expand into the surrounding streets as needed. The industrial architecture of the stage, rest room building and skate rental, promenade and other elements shine in this modern downtown plaza. Landscape areas are mounded and bordered by long seat walls of beautiful stone. The materials were selected for durability, ease of maintenance, and to be reflective of the rich history of the City of Casper.
David Street Square is the product of the shared vision of the City of Casper, the Downtown Development Authority and the Old Yellowstone redevelopment district, and was conceived as a public-private partnership to support ongoing revitalization efforts to create a Casper City core that is a vibrant place to live, work and play. This shared vision and commitment has produced a vibrant outdoor event center that truly is “the place where Casper comes together”.
Manuel Brothers Park in Lead, South Dakota.
Tallgrass Landscape Architecture worked closely with the community of Lead, SD to develop the first phase of the South Rim Parks Master Plan - the Manuel Brothers Park Playground Remodel. This was a major civic improvement project for the mountain town of Lead, featuring a splash pad, a large playground for older kids, a large playground for littler kids, lots and lots of boulders, and some of the existing trees and infrastructure of the park into a new and vibrant center for their town.
The splash pad is a community favorite, with a push button to trigger the jets and fountains. Hand picked local boulders placed throughout the pad activate the space during winter months and bring a unique local twist to the water feature in summer months. An adjacent seat wall (also made of locally sourced rock) is a great place for parents and caregivers to get a light mist. The splash pad includes a special feature for toddlers - the Water Journey, where smaller children can activate water and manipulate water flows.
The City of Lead’s new brand and colors are incorporated into the playground theme: a blend of the historic mountain mining town and the Homestake Gold Mine’s new life as the Sanford Underground Research Facility. A diversity of new play opportunities replaced a few aging structures. A climber, several types of swings, a large play structure for older children, smaller play structure for toddlers, musical play equipment, and a maze of natural play logs and balance beams make a wonderful playground for kids to explore.
Powerhouse Park was the site of the Burlington Powerhouse that functioned for a decade from 1902 to 1911 to provide power for the interurban trolley owned and operated by Burlington Railroad between the City of Deadwood and the City of Lead. Demolition of the plant started in July of 1911, but the smoke stack remained standing until the early 1920s. While it only operated for a short time, the site offers context to an important moment in development of mining, urbanization, and electrification in the Black Hills. It now stands at the northern terminus of the George S. Mickelson Trail, the 110 mile long world class bicycling trail that winds through the hills.
After a detailed investigation into the rich history of the site, we developed a park plan to allow for “Preservation without Restoration”. The goal is to preserve the site without attempting a full restoration but protecting what remains, including a portion of the 130’ smoke stack. A sample of the smokestack section was recreated by a local historical mason to give visitors an idea of its size. At least one of the smokestack bricks has fingertip imprints from a child worker at the brickyard where the bricks were made, giving another view into our history. A system of floating decks extends the boardwalk and allows for views of the ruins, the creek, and the surroundings as well as providing locations for interpretive signs without negatively impacting the ruins below. Access is provided to the creek for adventurers and fishermen, while picnic shelters provide a destination for visitors. A bridge is planned across the creek soon as well.
In 2012, the Cheyenne River Housing Authority was awarded a TECA grant from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to fund a long wished-for project – playgrounds for the children of the communities throughout the reservation, aka “Project Play”. The play areas would be safe, fun, durable, affordable, and located centrally in their local communities. They would be designed to combat youth diabetes and reduce childhood obesity rates as well as enhancing the mental and emotional growth of the children of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation.
Tallgrass Landscape Architecture was honored to be selected to design the playgrounds and assist Project Play in involving each community and their children in the design process. We worked closely with the project coordinator to develop community surveys - including a survey that was completed by nearly 400 children across the reservation! In this way, the communities and their children selected the types of play experiences that they would like best. We designed four different playground design types for the CRHA that allowed each community or neighborhood to select the playground style, colors and amenities that best suit the needs of their children and have an opportunity to reflect something of cultural significance of each community – both through color and playground signage. The signs, unique to each community tell special community stories, talk about tribal members of significance, or teach about an animal of special significance that is indigenous to the region. Project Play is now complete with 24 playgrounds in 17 remote communities across the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation providing play opportunities where few existed before.
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The Mills Riverfront Feasibility Study is a “Property Programming and Feasibility Study to Provide Recommendations for Undeveloped Land” for the Town of Mills, WY. The study provided a Site Analysis, Precedent Comparisons, Public Outreach, a comparison Matrix of the top two uses, and a final recommended plan for the development of the property. In addition, a robust next steps process outlined the path to success.
Working with the entire town council, staff, and other town consultants the study process allowed a general consensus toward land use to be formed. The plan is far-reaching and balances practical implementation with the Town’s visionary goal to re-center its downtown toward the river. The new downtown center will create an attractive destination for residents and visitors alike.
The City of Lead has transformed from “the richest little city in the world” from mining gold to mining the deep mysteries of the universe at the Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake. A new visitor center perched on the edge of the infamous Open Cut revealed opportunities in the adjacent parks. Tallgrass Landscape Architecture worked with the City to develop a visionary Master Plan for Manuel Brothers Park to better meet the current and future needs of the community. The plan quickly expanded to include the entire “South Rim” of the Open Cut, including Prospect Park, Manuel Brothers Park, the Rifle Club, and the Dog Park.
This plan provides the missing Town Center that Lead has long been searching for, yet includes space and program area for the recreational aspects of the park and the acknowledgment that you are on the edge of a huge hole in the earth that is absolutely awe-inspiring. An initial phase of the project bid in the winter of 2017 to allow for a summer construction schedule.
Tallgrass Landscape Architecture has been working as the project master planner and landscape architects with this dynamic Black Hills business since our early days. Adding both production expansion to the existing winery and two new destination businesses, this corner of the Hills is exploding with activity, color and new tastes, sights and entertainment. Tallgrass has been fortunate to provide master planning, site design, visualization, and landscape architecture services for this multi-year expansion project. Being at the table with the owners and multiple consultants and contractors while the concepts for this expansion have emerged has been a highlight of our work. Our contribution to the Prairie Berry expansion includes site circulation design mitigating pedestrians and commercial deliveries that require access to multiple venues, overall parking and logistical planning, site planning for the Miner Brewing Company, amphitheater design for outdoor live performance spaces, The Homestead site planning, design for landscape and other site features throughout this Black Hills destination.
Tallgrass Landscape Architecture teamed with Stanley Design Group to create the Robbinsdale Park Master Plan. The plan unfolded over a year long process, allowing generous public input, and a comprehensive plan to be developed. Tallgrass supported the planning throughout the entire process by providing analysis, public meeting facilitation, concept development, master planning, graphics, and more - all in partnership with our partner firm.
The plan was initiated by Rapid City Parks and Recreation as a part of and in reaction to a large stormwater project necessary in the north west and west portions of the park. Parks saw this as an opportunity to address planning needs for the entire park and provide better recreation services on the east side of town.
This master plan is the next step in the park’s evolution and will guide development of the park for the next 15 to 25 years. Robbinsdale Park is divided by land form and use into three distinct park types; the Neighborhood Park, the Sports Park, and the Nature Park. The Master Plan retains the character of each of these areas,adjusting and adding improvements that respond to stakeholder needs in those areas. Connecting these three areas is a re-aligned park street and new, more evenly distributed parking.
Phase 1 Projects, including a new BMX track and additional Little League Fields were completed in 2018.
Art 321 is now the center of a cultural resurgence in downtown Casper and is a hub for art walks, artists’ showings, and other events that are transforming a sleepy downtown into a vibrant urban destination. The overwhelming crowds and guild membership increases seen since opening are a clear indicator of the thirst for urban social events in this community.
Working with the project architect we provided several concept plans and 3d visualizations to help the client understand how the space could be organized. A tight budget required several significant design changes during construction, and efforts were successful in maintaining the feel of the project while significantly reducing the overall costs.
The Black Hills Central Railroad understands how to make a fascinating technological marvel feel safe and attractive to families. The 1880 Train is an icon of Black Hills tourism, fascinating children, intriguing gear heads and appealing to a sense of adventure. You know you are in the west when you are on a steam powered train! Recent improvements have softened the site and provided a more comfortable visitor experience. Engine No. 7 has gotten a place of prominence and advertises this unique attraction when not in use. Two new railroad themed shade structures organize visitors and keeps them out of the sun, rain, and sometimes snow.
Tallgrass Landscape Architecture is honored to be the go-to designer for this Black Hills icon. We provide shade structure design, site design addressing visitor and train site circulation, drainage issues, landscape display areas for historic trains and rail road equipment, and safety separations that enhance the visitor experience at both the Hill City and Keystone Stations.
Improvements here are ongoing. Expect to see more fun site developments in coming years!
Tallgrass teamed with our friends at AE2S Engineering to create destination trailheads for some of Rapid City’s newest trails in Skyline Wilderness. The existing trailheads were casual affairs - dirt parking lots with limited parking, dangerous pullouts, and no site control - at best. The plans served to solve many of the various site issues for all users and included everything from straightening a section of Skyline Drive to eliminate a blind corner and adding a new parking lot to the end of West Fulton Street. Accommodations for bus traffic and a safer street crossing were implemented at the Dinosaur Park Trailhead.
New custom bicycle racks, signs, and landscape features were added. The trailheads provide a place to gather before embarking on some of the new trails. Rapid City continues to lead the way as a national ride center for biking.
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Tallgrass Landscape Architecture provided Master Planning, including meeting planning, facilitation, and backgrounds for the public input process. Currently Phase 1 is under construction and Phase 2 is being designed. The streetscape design for one of the Black Hills’ most travelled routes - Jackson Boulevard, from Interstate 90’s Exit 17 to Black Hills State University highlights Spearfish as the Black Hill’s “City of Fall Color” and recalls a journey through Spearfish Canyon. Large boulders are being brought from several locations to represent the different levels of the canyon. Plantings are durable and mimic the character of the canyon, while earthwork in the medians creates a unique travel experience.
Streetscape plans include boulevards, entry features, medians, ADA compliance, street lighting, a bridge aethetic maker, the “ellispabout” - a roundabout feature, plantings, irrigation and other elements to comprise a complete street remodel.