Wiley|Wilson provided several services to help the City of Lynchburg complete the second phase of improvement to Riverside Park, including architecture, civil, structural, and electrical design services. Riverside Park, the city’s second-oldest park, is now home to a new walkway and protective shed that houses three historic cars: a steam engine, coal tinder, and caboose.
“We are very pleased to have had the opportunity to work on this important project for the city,” said Randy Vaughan, AIA, LEED AP, Vice President, Department Manager, Architectural. “It was important that we provided a sustainable and accessible housing solution for these cars that would shield both the cars from the weather as well as citizens touring the cars.”
The new shed provides the public with a way to experience these magnificent examples of 20th-century technology and protect them from the elements without obscuring their grandeur in any way. The solution is a cantilevered canopy reminiscent of a 19th-century train station platform. Located opposite the main public viewing area is the platform side of the canopy that gently slopes upward and allows visitors to step into the cab of the engine and then back down to the floor level of the caboose. The shed’s design provides an unobstructed view of the train from almost all places in the park.
“We created an elegant design solution, but it was somewhat difficult to execute,” Randy explained. “The canopy had to be wide enough to completely protect the train, which meant we had to create a large overhang with significant overturning forces that the shed’s foundations could resist.”
Further complicating the design was the train’s location: right in a natural drainage channel with poor soil. To address the challenge, the back screening wall of the platform was used to pin the canopy to the foundation.
Other improvements to the park included adding ADA-accessible paths that meander back and forth so visitors can navigate the elevation change easily, repaving the main parking lot with permeable pavement to reduce run-off, installing a rain garden near the shed to improve run-off water quality, and placing interpretative signage telling the history of the train and park.
“Having these three cars available for the public to view and tour is one more attraction that will draw more visitors to Riverside Park,” Randy said. “We enjoyed working with the City of Lynchburg on this and other efforts to enhance its public spaces for its citizens.”
Wiley|Wilson was a sub-consultant to Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects on this project and was responsible for several design aspects. Along with designing a new shed to house the train and renovations to the parking lot, Wiley|Wilson also added a new drop-off for Riverside Park’s popular spray park.
Lynchburg’s newspaper, the News & Advance, featured the second phase completion in a recent issue. Click here to read their story.