Baltimore County News
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz unveiled the final rendering for the new urban park to be located between the Historic Courthouse and County Courts building in Towson. Flanked by memorials to fallen police and fire fighters, the new plaza will create usable green space for the people who live, work and visit downtown Towson.
“The acclaimed Towson courthouse gardens have long been a source of pride for our county," said County Executive Kamenetz. "This new green setting at the opposite side of the Historic Courthouse will be a wonderful addition to the grounds and provide a welcoming venue for people to gather during the week and for special events. We worked with community and civic groups to achieve a special design.”
The new greenspace will replace an impervious concrete and paver courtyard centered by a fountain that has not functioned for several years. Leaks in the fountain’s infrastructure require immediate reconstruction of a significant portion of the plaza. Repairs must take place on a tight time frame to avoid additional costly damage to office spaces and technology systems located below the plaza.
The County consulted with the Towson Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Towson Council of Community Associations (GTCCA) and representatives of the fire and police unions and memorial associations to gather input on the design. The design was developed by Rubeling & Associates, a Towson architectural firm.
“The County Council is always delighted when green space is added to a neighborhood,” said Council Chair Tom Quirk. “I commend the administration for involving key members of the community in the design of this new open space.”
“I can’t wait until we cut the ribbon for this new park area,” said Nancy Hafford, Executive Director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce. “My head is already spinning at the possibilities that this new space creates.”
“I was pleased to be asked to provide input as to what should be reflected in the final design,” stated Paul Hartman, a member of the GTCCA. “I think the company did a great job trying to capture everyone’s ideas. I am especially happy about the plan to increase greenspace and reduce hardscape."
"The improvements to Patriot Plaza will make the Baltimore County Police Memorial more visible and accessible, while ensuring that the monument continues to provide a solemn tribute to officers who made the ultimate sacrifice," said Retired Colonel Dennis Robinson, Chair of the Baltimore County Police Memorial Fund. “I want to thank the County Executive and his team for their thoughtful consideration of our recommendations.”
Retired Fire Chief Elwood Bannister added, “Anything that we can do to educate more people about our tribute to our fallen fire fighters is greatly appreciated. I find this new design very respectful of our monument.”
Funds for the project, estimated to cost between $3 and $4 million, were approved by the County Council in the FY2017 operating budget. The new green plaza is expected to be completed in June 2018.
Baltimore County has spent more than $57 million on open space and recreational projects since 2010. “Giving families open space and gathering places is central to the quality of life in our communities,” concluded Kamenetz.