Loring Park, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, experiences an incredible blend of culture and art. It has a prime location; bordered by multiple neighborhoods, academic establishments, downtown Minneapolis, The Minneapolis Convention Center and the famous Walker Art Center. All of this causes the park to be a hub of diversity for the City of Minneapolis.
Loring Park is the largest park near downtown Minneapolis. The City of Lakes is renowned for having a plethora of parks within its city limits, yet Loring – if looking strictly at size – reigns supreme. The main focal point of the park is Loring Lake, with a vast array of activities happening throughout the park year around, featuring everything from dance classes to basketball tournaments. In the summer the Park absolutely buzzes with activity, however, when the coldness of winter whips through the park it becomes more stagnant.
The park and the surrounding area have many notable establishments. The Walker Art Center and its Sculpture Garden are connected via a footbridge. The Basilica of St. Mary – opened in 1907 – rises near the park as well. Other noteworthy buildings include St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, the Minneapolis Convention Center, and the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The Stevens Square neighborhood – the most densely populated neighborhood in all of Minneapolis – is located a little more than a half mile away from Loring as well. The other surrounding neighborhoods also bring more people to the Park.
A new 36-story residential tower named LPM Apartments has recently opened bringing a high-class living option to the Loring Park area. The construction of this tower shows that development around Loring is very much alive and is known to be a quite competitive market for developers.
So, apart from aesthetic beauty, why is Loring Park so important? For example, in the winter there are no flowers blooming, frogs croaking in the cattails, and fewer people enjoying the outdoors. Thankfully, in the winter, there are still activities happening, such as the Loring Park Winter Festival. The park serves as a space in a major metropolitan area where people from all sorts of backgrounds and in different areas of their lives come together. With the diversity of activities and the surrounding attractions, spaces like Loring Park have an ever growing importance in our society. With the optimal location and beautiful grounds drawing people in by the thousands every single month, this park is an example of how a park - and placemaking - can bring people together from all corners of a city.
What is your favorite public park near you? Would you like to see more activity created within it? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.