Hillside Community Park

Rendering of Hillside Community Park, prepared by BBC Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow Erick Rodriguez.

The infamous decrepit swing sets and rusted jungle gym on E. 79th Street will soon be replaced by trees and public art.

Kinsman residents and stakeholders have long expressed a need for improved walkability to and from the East 79th Street Blue/Green Rapid Station, since transit is such a vital part of their daily lives. To achieve this end, community driven plans have called for the large blighted vacant lot located immediately south of the station to be improved with walking paths, trees and plants, landscaping, and other features.

When a funding opportunity became available from Reimaging Cleveland in 2013, BBC pursued it to bring the community’s vision for the East 79th Street site to fruition and would receive a $50,000 grant. Reimagining Cleveland is a program of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, Wells Fargo CityLIFT® program, The U.S. Department of Justice, and Cuyahoga Land Reutilization Corporation.

In addition to improving access to the rapid station, the redevelopment of the site could have many other powerful impacts. Hundreds of people ride the rapid daily past the site, which could be considered the door step to the Kinsman neighborhood. Beautifying the lot could potentially transform negative perceptions of Kinsman into positive impressions. Making transit safer and easier to access helps promote transit use, which improves the air quality and the environment.

Planning for the site began in late winter, with construction following in the late summer.