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Polaris Pocket Park Opens to the Public

Walker Evans Walker Evans Polaris Pocket Park Opens to the Public
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  • Sumo

A new public pocket park was unveiled yesterday evening at a location that you might not expect to find a park. Tucked away at the end of a commercial office parking lot, adjacent to the Polaris Fashion Place mall, the new Polaris Founders Park is bordered by Interstate 71 to the east and the I-71 southbound onramp to the south.

The new $500,000 park was privately funded and built in memory of Robert C. Echele, the man responsible with the planning and development of the 1,200-acre Polaris Centers of Commerce. Mr. Echele passed away in 2007.

The 1.5 acre park includes Japanese-inspired gardens, waterfalls, a pond and a gazebo in addition to the crown jewel: a 35-foot wind sculpture designed by local artist Robert Mullins.

“The sculpture will be a monument visible to 100,000 cars per day at the Polaris Interchange, which is the gateway to Columbus from the north,” said Franz A. Geiger, managing director of the Polaris development.

More information can be found online at www.polariscenters.com.

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  • Oh, thank god. I was worried for a second there that Polaris wasn’t going to be pedestrian-friendly.

  • jpizzow

    A park surrounded by a highway and surface parking lots?? Really?? I’m sure it’s a nice looking park, but what’s the point in such an unpedestrian oriented location?

  • Are parks best sited where they are visible to hundreds of thousands of cars per day or where they will be most utilized by the public? Clearly the former.

    Also, looks like it’s right here:

  • Stewz

    meh.  Not sure how utilized this will ever be. But from the map, at least it looks like it is by the building that houses DeVry and Microsoft.  So perhaps it will be used for people wanting to get outside to eat lunch or exercise or something.

  • bldng4jstc

    People will drive to the park unless traffic eats 50% of their lunch break.  They can’t move the park too close to retail or else people will spend time outside there instead of in the walkable part of the mall.

  • jpizzow

    If you’re an office worker, it’s a good place to smoke a cigarette, I suppose.

  • ^Good point.  You can double up on your carbon monoxide intake by smoking while standing near the freeway.  Win-win!

  • bjones7

    I’m sure you guys read the article and the part where Walker mentions that this was privately funded. Yet to be blunt, they can do what ever the hell they want to with their money. Is this park a waste of money? YES it is! Yet it’s not our money (public money). Now only if we could find someone who wants to donate 40million to start a “streetcar” or “metro rail”, then no one in Columbus could complain about “wasteful spending”

  • We can always find something to complain about.

  • cc

    I have to say that this post seems to be some kind of cheap tongue and cheek shot at a guy whose relatives wanted to add a park to his memory after he passed. I am all for knocking Polaris, but knocking a memorial park is kind of sad…

  • Walker

    I wrote this article, and nothing I said was meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek. You’re making accusations based on whatever you’re reading into it, which is completely uncalled for.

  • If this were anywhere closer to downtown or in a historic (a few blocks with a bunch of old boarded up houses), the comments in this thread would undoubtedly have a much different tone. Just sayin’

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