Starting in 2014, a group of local skateboarders began an effort to create a new space for skateboarding in Kansas City through utilizing an ill-kempt area of an urban neighborhood. The project started with a $50 budget and a few volunteers. Momentum quickly grew, and with strong support of the skateboarding and Columbus Park communities, the park now encompasses over 12,000 sq/ft of skate-able terrain.
Through the overwhelming
positive reactions, Kansas City Public Works allowed Harrison Street DIY to continue building a skatepark, while also strengthening the community that surrounds it. It has now been over 7 years since the start of the project, and has transformed the area into one of the most well loved skatepark spaces in the entire region. There are now new attempts being made to develop the area and Harrison Street DIY is in danger of not surviving the new era of development in the historic neighborhood of Columbus Park.
“Before the skaters showed up, this area had been neglected for over 20 years and was a constant source of trouble… And the positive impact created by the skaters had a contagious effect, encouraging neighbors and visitors to care about and respect the area, unlike before.”
Dan Wayne (Columbus neighborhood
resident and possible future developer)
COMMUNITY DESIGNED; BUILT WITH INTEGRITY
Video by: Shawn Wright
For me it’s like finding a home, a good home. So many people there share the same values as I do and choose to express themselves creatively in the same way I do. “
Mercy Pryhozen (local skater)
Harrison St was built as a collaboration of professionals and volunteers, resulting in a product that has the direct influence of the park users, while also having the architectural integrity to last. The techniques used at Harrison St are practically identical to those used to build municipal skateparks across the country.
Photo: Brandon Fredrick, Ben Hlavacek, John Velge,
Chase Castor for KC Magazine
Website Design: Rachel Kaufman
Video: Shawn Wright