SDG Featured in The Bay Observer for the Gage Park Restoration Project

SDG Featured in The Bay Observer for the Gage Park Restoration Project

Seferian Design Group was recently featured in The Bay Observer regarding their work on the Gage Park Fountain Terrace Restoration project in Hamilton. In 2011 the City of Hamilton retained Seferian Design Group for the Gage Park fountain terraces redevelopment project. The intent was to restore the grand entrance from Main Street into the park to its former glory.

The plan calls for flower beds surrounded by low boxwood hedges surrounding the sides and back of the fountain facing south. This will replace the towering beech hedges which provided shade and privacy but also acted as cover for the vandals whose handiwork had nearly destroyed the decorative features of the fountain. Now the fountain will be visible from all sides, much as it was when first installed. Seferian Design Group was selected for the terraces redevelopment project. Haig Seferian (OALA, CSLA, FASLA) and Meredith Plant (BLA, GRP), and the Seferian Design Group team created a design that allows for ramp accessibility through the fountain terraces. New formal gardens have been designed with mass plantings that will reflect a modern twist on the Beaux Arts style, Including native grasses and drought tolerant species. Monolithic paving was also implemented to reduce instances of vandalism. There are many other plans for upgrading Gage Park. The Master Plan calls for the paving of the major roadways in the park to allow greater access for pedestrians, especially those who are using scooters or other walking assistance devices.

The paved roadways will also require less maintenance than the limestone aggregate that is currently in place. Gage Park occupies a unique place in Canadian horticulture in that it serves as a kind of living museum of the City beautiful Movement that sprung up in the late 19th and early 20th century. City Beautiful proponents believed that parks and formally designed buildings and streetscapes had the power to elevate the masses socially and spiritually. In Gage Park we see the handiwork of some of Canada’s pioneer city planners, designers, landscape architects and artists. At the centre of it all in Hamilton was Thomas Baker McQuesten, who as a member of Hamilton City Council proposed the purchase of the Gage Property for a park, and then assembled the team of creative people who brought it to fruition. He started with the town planner Noulan Cauchon who saw parks as the “lungs of the city,” and who promoted the widespread use of green space to improve the habitability of the industrial town. The Dunnington Grubb’s laid out the park with the blend of formal gardens and open space that persists to today. Architect John Lyle brought his Ecole des Beaux Arts training to the design of the Gage Park Fountain, and enlisted Canadian sculptresses Frances Loring and Florence Wyle to decorate the fountain with the iconic turtles and ducks which survive today. Long before the Royal Botanical Gardens (another McQuesten concept) came into existence, Gage Park became something of an arboretum. Even today it boats more than one hundred varieties of trees.

http://bayobserver.ca/gage-park-restoration-on-target/