Evanston hosts meeting to choose design for Twiggs Park skate park

Evanston residents voted on the design of a skate park to be built at Twiggs Park in the 5th Ward during a meeting on Tuesday.

Residents chose a concept featuring an enclosed bowl with a shallow bonus area at the north end. The second concept, which voters rejected, would have included an open bowl with a shallower bowl at the south end. Residents previously determined the location of the park during a May 2021 Meet.

The approved skate park measures 10,000 square feet and includes four areas: the entrance, the intermediate street, the advanced bowl and the beginner bonus areas. Skate park designer Vince Onel said he designed the space to have a cohesive flow. The city hired Onel from skate park design consultancy Spohn Ranch.

Onel said no skate parks had been built in Illinois in the past year, adding that he was excited to skate in the new Twiggs Park area.

Jodi Mariano, director and project manager of Teska Associates, worked with the city and two other teams of consultants to develop the final designs for the skate park. She highlighted the designers’ goal of providing something different from other surrounding skateparks in the area.

“(This bonus area), it’s really unique,” Mariano said. “We spent time looking at other skate parks and I didn’t see any that did this.”

The entrance consists of a quarter pipe that turns into bank ramps, which provide soft fill for a skater to start a run. The area also includes other beginner-friendly structures, such as a mini halfpipe and a grind rail with an A-frame ramp in the center. City officials have pointed out that this area is well suited for beginners and transitional skaters to practice and become more comfortable with the bowl.

The middle zone consists of a quarter pipe extension raised a bit higher, allowing for more speed. On both sides of the grind rail, there are pyramid hips, which were added to this design after feedback from the last meeting. There is also a set of steps, a handrail and a step gap, which Onel says opens up the flow of the complex.

The forward area design features an enclosed bowl with a shallow bonus area to the north.

Evanston resident Jim Haberl, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, said he appreciated the city’s willingness to consider residents’ feedback on the design of the skate park.

“The changes you’ve made just to the seats are phenomenal,” Haberl said. “It’s really exciting, it looks really great.”

The park is also well suited for other types of riding sports beyond skateboarding, including BMX bikes and roller skates, according to Mariano. It will be big enough for 30 riders to use at once without feeling crowded.

Onel said he hopes the wide range of features included in the park’s final design will bring more area skaters to Evanston.

“When this opens, it will be the shiny new toy in all of Illinois, and people will come from all over to use it,” Onel said.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @ari_wozz

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