2.5 acres of open, public space used to be part of the downtown Phoenix landscape. Known as Patriots Square Park this urban park was constructed in 1976 to honor those who fought in the American Revolutionary War. Community events like Cinco de Mayo and the Arizona Asian Festival were celebrated here. The park was redeveloped in the 1980s. A parking structure was added below ground and the park above was remodeled. What had been grassy, open area under a canopy of large shady trees was mutated into a literal red brick-oven, with fewer trees and less grass. Eventually the park became an eye-sore and functioned as an unofficial homeless shelter.
Something needed to be done with the park. As is often the case in Phoenix, this space had so much potential. In 2006 RED Development and Mayor Phil Gordon promised a redevelopment of the park as part of the CityScape project.
In 2009 demolition began on Patriots Square Park. That was a mistake. We were promised a new park, but the City of Phoenix did not get a park. For $125 million dollars (tax subsidies to RED Development) Phoenix received a bastardized version of a park. A park so UNlike a park, that people downtown don’t even know the space is supposed to be a park.
Honestly, does this even remotely resemble a park?! A fountain in a courtyard, next to a CVS with a few patches of grass does not make a park. Where do you throw a football or a frisbee? Where do you have a picnic? Where do relax and read a book? WHY CAN’T PHOENIX GET ANYTHING RIGHT?! I swear to god, this has to be the stupidest city I’ve ever lived in.
Everyone needs to watch this short film. It’s sad and depressing. (I bet that makes you want to watch it, huh?) As a community, we should be outraged that our public spaces have been taken from us, at our expense, and turned over to a private business who can’t even build a park! (Seriously, how hard is it to build a park? It takes grass and trees! It’s so easy!)