Artists unveil ideas for MLK Park playground design

Three playground design concepts are available for public review for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. park at 40th & Nicollet.

The design team featured prominent local artists including Ta-coumba Aiken, Seitu Jones, Esther Osayande and Shalette Cauley-Wandrick.

— “The Mountaintop” has a strong historical focus. It would feature a mountain to climb with a quote from King’s speech “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop.” The park could include QR codes, allowing smart phone users to pull up images like Rosa Parks sitting on an empty bench.

— “The Front Porch” takes a neighborhood storytelling approach to history. A porch front would resemble King’s childhood home. A “pop-up book” would provide a storytelling outlet. The book would be positioned so the sun would shine on it at sunrise and sunset on Aug. 28, the date of The March on Washington.

— “Unity in Diversity” subtly blends history in the design, uses Adinkra symbology, and encourages social interaction. The park would feature edible plants and peace poles designed by community kids.

The Park Board is collecting feedback on the design options until Oct. 25. See the designs here.

The new park is slated to open in August of 2014.