Renderings courtesy of Veterans Park Partnership
Above: Night Moods A rendering of the park showing plans for its lighting makeover
If all goes as planned, in a little more than a year, Stamford’s Veterans Memorial Park will have undergone a comprehensive renovation that will make the city’s military veterans proud to call their own.
Nestled in the heart of downtown, between the Stamford Town Center, Landmark Square and First County Bank, the concrete-heavy Veterans Park has lately come into disrepair. Also, though an assortment of war monuments honoring Stamford’s veterans are spread around the park, their arbitrary placement has allowed the bustle of the urban setting to overshadow the role of the park as a memorial.
That will change. Currently, the park is in the midst of a $5.5 million renovation, overseen by the Veterans Park Partnership, an ad-hoc committee that was formed in 2014 to raise the funds and execute the renovations. Among the membership is Patricia Parry, a Gold Star mother whose son, Brian Bill, a Navy SEAL who was born and raised in Stamford, died in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.
Design highlights will include relocating monuments to higher ground; introducing a landscaping plan with new trees, lawns and gardens; beautifying the main plaza, and building an amphitheater. The center of the plaza will feature five white stars—representing all military branches—encircled in red pavers.
“Our veterans deserve an appropriate park in honor of those who lost their lives,” in service to their country, says Rick Redniss, president of the partnership, which is still more than $1 million short of its fundraising goal. (Visit vprstamford.org to make a contribution.)
Redniss says the committee envisions the park as a public meeting place, a venue for community events, an inviting entry point to the mall and surrounding offices, and a primary link for east-west connection through downtown. “We want this to be a place for people to be respectful of veterans and the sacrifices they made for our country,” Redniss says. “[Our veterans] deserve better, and Stamford also deserves better.”
Among the improvements planned for Veterans Memorial Park are the relocation of war monuments to higher ground to give them greater visibility; considerable landscaping additions; a refurbished plaza; and an amphitheater for community events.
A 3 Landmark Square
B 4 Landmark Square
C 6 Landmark Square
D Stamford Town Center
E First County Bank
F Atlantic Street bus stop