Saiki Design led a consultant team in the preparation of final design and construction documents for Lisa Link Peace Park. The downtown Madison mini-park space had been the subject of years of study and controversy. A relatively neglected urban open space, Peace Park had been viewed as a detriment to the downtown landscape by many, and depending on the point of view, was also a needed refuge for the homeless and a marketplace for illegal and anti-social activities. Regardless, there was little dispute that the park was underutilized and needed an update.
A volunteer committee created by Madison’s City Council met for two years and their efforts resulted in the recommendation of a single concept master plan that was subsequently approved. The final design, prepared by Saiki Design, was based on that concept and evolved through a myriad of additional meetings and hearings.
The essence of the plan was to provide access to the park for the entire community. To that end, a welcome center was constructed to house downtown “ambassadors” available to assist visitors and residents with information, maps, recommendations and directions. Public rest rooms in the building that was constructed as part of the project housed a satellite police office and included a police desk, a place for officers to recharge equipment, write reports and created a subtle police presence in the park. The park itself was designed for events of various sizes and contains water features, seating, game tables and other amenities for day-to-day activities.
Elizabeth Link Peace Park received numerous accolades from the local media as well as an Excellence in Design award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.