Where is Patriots Square Park?

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!)

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6 Comments
  • Lyndsay
    October 27, 2010

    We stumbled across this the other day, though had no idea it was a park. I thought it was just a courtyard for the building. It is a sorry excuse for a park, but I was pretty excited to see the splash pad (we have a little boy who is going to love that next summer). It could be a nice draw for families with kids, if it is advertised.

  • Michelle H
    October 27, 2010

    I was pissed when they decided to pave over/build over the park, such as it was (red brick-oven is a terrific description)… I remember they shut down the bathroom and the water fountains. Silly me, I thought they decided to conserve water (and prevent vandalism). Now they’ve got water shooting out of the ground onto hot pavement. Brill… It’s taken more than a decade for me to proclaim that I even like Phoenix. Stuff like this is a real set-back. (Kudos to Leslie and Steve for the vid. Thanks J for posting!)

  • Cindi
    October 28, 2010

    *sigh* The only thing that Phoenix knows how to do is mess things up. This is the most tragic, sad, horrible and offensive excuse for a park I have ever seen. It’s all concrete! It’s CONTRIBUTING to the heat island, not negating or improving it. Patriots Park wasn’t pretty anymore, and it smelled bad, but that was fixable. As far as I can tell, this monstrosity is with us forever. This is the worst “park” I have ever seen.

  • John G.
    November 3, 2012

    I was bummed, to put it mildly when I saw what they did to Patriot’s Park. Downtown Phoenix needs a public open space, and that park was it. You can’t even get a good look at that beautiful art-deco mini-skyscraper, the Luhrs Tower, anymore.

    It’s not true Phoenix screws everything up. They do plenty of good stuff for the big business community. Unfortunately, what may be good for big business isn’t necessarily good for the rest of us.

    I will say they have a habit of screwing things up when they try to improve something that was just fine to begin with.

    For some reason, I can’t see Ladmo and Mr. Grudgemeyer going at in the current Patriot’s Park.

    • J. Seth (I go by Seth) Anderson
      November 3, 2012

      :) I hadn’t thought of it that way, “They do plenty of good stuff for the big business community.” lol that’s very true. If you’re in Phoenix now, keep your eye on the redevelopment of Hance Park. There is some great opportunities. But like you said, Phoenix does have the habit of making things worse.

  • Marilyn
    July 10, 2013

    That’s true about big business – business brings in tax dollars and parks use tax dollars. Someday all those urbanite students will be screaming for a green, grassy area and they will tear down both of Luhrs buildings to build a park.

    As for Margaret Hance park, it too is a haven for the homeless. So Phoenix will probably get another concretescape park with no trees, no grass and the most disgusting modern art ever created.

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