Designers compete to plan Gwynns Falls Greenway

March 31, 1994|By Edward Gunts | Edward Gunts,Sun Staff Writer

Artists and landscape architects from around the country will compete this spring to design ways to enliven a six-mile greenway stretching along the Gwynns Falls from Baltimore's Inner Harbor to Leakin Park.

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke announced that three artist-led design teams have been selected from among 19 bidders to participate in a two-month competition to develop plans for public amenities for the Gwynns Falls Greenway.

The Greenway competition is the third in as many months involvingprime public land in Baltimore. The first two involved redesigning 20 acres of Inner Harbor shoreline and a $60 million performing arts center in the Mount Royal cultural area.

The competition is sponsored by the Municipal Arts Society of Baltimore City and will be administered by the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Art and Culture.

The three finalists each will receive $3,000 to design "high quality, interactive amenities" for the recreational trail. The winner will get to negotiate a contract to carry out its design, using a portion of the $2.7 million targeted so far for development of the greenway.

"It's very exciting to be integrating an historic greenway with contemporary art, while addressing ecological concerns," said Jane Vellery-Davis, a representative of the advisory committee. "This is the first time to my knowledge that this kind of project, using an artist-led team, has been launched in Baltimore."

The three teams of finalists include:

* Artist Jody Pinto and landscape architect Weintraub and di Domenico. Both are from New York.

* Environmental sculptor Meg Webster of New York; landscape architect Diana Balmori and ecologist William Burch of New Haven, Conn.; and architect Jonathan Fishman, engineer Brian Stephenson and urban historian W. Edward Orser, all from Baltimore.

* Environmental sculptor Alan Sonfist of Hyattsville; landscape architect Jay Graham of Annapolis; sculptors Mary Ann Mears and John Ruppert; poet/educator Chezia Thompson; furniture artist Thomas Seiler; architect Roxanne Williams; and urban designer Barbara Wilks.

They will present their designs in a public session on June 10.

The Gwynns Falls Greenway is a proposed linear park and recreational trail that will follow the Gwynns Falls stream valley south for six miles from Leakin Park in northwest Baltimore through the city to the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.

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