Rosa Parks Circle Downtown Grand Rapids FINALLY Reopens
For more than a year, Rosa Parks Circle was closed while undergoing $3 million in renovations. The downtown Grand Rapids landmark and gathering place is FINALLY back open.
The original plan was to reopen Rosa Parks Circle in September 2021 in time for ArtPrize... and well, ArtPrize came and went. And then, the goal was to open in time for the winter ice skating season... and that didn't happen either.
What was the hold up? Well, as we told you back in August, a piece of granite for the seating at Rosa Parks Circle was, in part, to blame. Manufacturing and supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic was keeping the slab of granite from getting to GR. Ice skating instead was moved to Van Andel Arena for the season.
If you're wondering why they didn't just use a different material for the seating, Rosa Parks Circle is actually part of an art installation called Ecliptic; those participating in the restoration say they are committed to artist Maya Lin's original vision for the space.
Rosa Parks Circle Conservancy chair Tripp Frey said,
The granite seating rings will be more durable and require less maintenance than the concrete previously used. Ecliptic has seen more visitors than ever imagined when it was first dedicated 20 years ago, and these improvements will ensure it can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Karie Enriquez, project manager of the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department told Wood TV 8,
The vision that Maya Lin had, you look at it now it probably looks very similar to how it looked 20 years ago when the concrete was new everything was new. What we’re really looking at now is taking her vision for that and switching out some of that material that had been engineered 20 plus years ago and reviving it making sure it continues for generations.
Rosa Parks Circle also has new water fountains, garbage bins, benches, pathways, lighting, and improvements to the restrooms and stage/ bandshell.
According to Wood TV 8, a rededication ceremony is planned for June 17.