Calvin Moody Park is a 4-acre park on the north side of Milwaukee in an area that has historically been home to industry and related working neighborhoods. A lack of park space in the Amani neighborhood has placed a great importance on this parcel as a family-friendly recreational hub.
The park renovation plan is a long-awaited response to the 2008 decision to close the Moody Pool and Recreational Center. Ayres was the project lead of a multidisciplinary team to interject vitality and ownership back into the neighborhood, provide a safe and vibrant space, and provide activities for all ages.
Key program elements include a new year-round community center, large playing field, splashpad facility, basketball courts, exercise equipment, community garden, parking lot, and stormwater management features to reduce the burden on the City of Milwaukee’s combined system.
The design of the park draws on neighborhood desires while also relating back to Calvin Moody, one of Milwaukee’s first black detectives. The bright colors and landforms warrant investigation and curiosity among its users, enhancing a sense of place and park use.
The project won the 2016 Mayor’s Design Award from the City of Milwaukee, a 2016 MANDI Award from the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, and a 2018 Wisconsin Park and Recreation Association Park Design Award of Merit ($1,000,000 +). Continuum Architects and Henneman Engineering were subconsultants.