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Whimsical Landscape Architecture at Porter County Library Garden

Located in Valparaiso, IN

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Porter County Library has a desire to demonstrate their driving belief that libraries have the power to change people’s lives and are a cornerstone of the community. This whimsical space engages visitors through a fog walk, natural play elements, public art, a rain garden, a performance area and meandering illuminated walks. 

By obtaining a parcel across the street, Porter County Library can expand their ability to achieve this mission with a whimsical outdoor gathering space for the community that will engage visitors in a new way.  People can enjoy reading programs, concerts, classes, events and more as part of the new design.  The garden is located on the former Chase Bank property at 106 Jefferson Street. Demolition of the existing bank and associated infrastructure was required as part of this project to make way for the new 16,000 SF community green space.

Design features include a custom metal entrance gateway, plaza space that can support food truck access, metal pavilion on an elevated concrete stage, reading corners, art and multiple garden areas.  Natural materials are incorporated throughout to give people the opportunity to connect with nature via log furniture, stone outcroppings, flagstone paving, tree cookies and landscape boulders intertwined in a vegetated oasis. 

A 4’ Ht. aluminum fence and custom truck access gate will provide a boundary to promote safety for the young visitors of the garden.  Pedestrian and accent level lighting are strategically placed to highlight main features of the garden.  A storage shed houses the fog pump, electrical panel and library supplies for events.  A concrete walking loop connects garden destinations and encircle the central event space to support the library’s vision of program engagement for all ages.

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