Parks/Trails/Greenspaces portman-sculpture2

Published on April 21st, 2016 |

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Loudermilk Park sculpture being forged; crosswalk planned

The ever-evolving Charlie Loudermilk Park may have a couple of new additions before the end of the year—a $155,000 centerpiece sculpture and a signaled crosswalk across Roswell Road for a safe path to the park.

A rendering of the Portman sculpture in place in the park.

A rendering of the Portman sculpture in place in the park.

The Buckhead Community Improvement District (CID) April 15 approved the expenditure of $77,500 for the 22-week forging of a John Portman designed sculpture entitled “Aspiration,” which will be installed at the apex of the park. The investment will be matched by Charlie Loudermilk.

The original design drawings for the redevelopment of the triangle park, back around 2008, included a steel, modern sculpture for the park, where Peachtree and Roswell roads come together at the crossroads with Paces Ferry Road—the original center of Buckhead.

The new steel-and-water Portman sculpture does not look like the original concept suggested as part of the new park design. But it is the culmination of a mutual admiration between best friends Portman and Charlie Loudermilk, the Buckhead civic and business leader and philanthropist, who paid millions to rejuvenate the Buckhead Theatre across the street from the park, in addition to helping fund the redevelopment of the park itself.

“We designed the park to accommodate a future sculpture, and Mr. Loudermilk suggested Portman,” Buckhead CID Executive Director Jim Durrett has said. “Hopefully, this year we will end with the sculpture in the park,” Durrett told the CID board.

The sculpture will be fabricated by Polich Tallix Fine Arts Foundry in New York State, which also created the Oscar statuettes for this year’s Academy Awards, according to press releases.

This photo shows the original design for the redo of Loudermilk Park with a large sculpture located at the apex of the park at bottom left. The possible new crosswalk would be at top left of the park rendering.

This photo shows the original design for the redo of Loudermilk Park with a large sculpture located at the apex of the park at bottom left. The possible new crosswalk would be at top left of the park rendering.

The CID board was told at its April 15 meeting that planning is also underway for a change at the other end of the triangle park, at the intersection of Roswell Road and Sardis Way.

BCID Director of Programs Tony Peters is working with the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Hanover Company to install a signaled crosswalk at the north end of the park. The crosswalk will connect to a 20-story apartment/retail multi-use complex being built by Hanover next to the Buckhead Theatre.

The crosswalk would include a pedestrian-activated “Hawk” crossing light, which according to Peters would be similar to what has been installed on West Paces Ferry Road in front of the Whole Foods shopping center.

He said the light is needed because of the two busy roads that intersect at that point, along with the driveway into the Hanover development at the same location.

Stay tuned for updates.

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