From three giant slides to a wide riverfront promenade, Cleveland's proposed park is designed to delight.
It’s an urban park along the banks of the Cuyahoga River where you can stroll, play, fish, picnic, work out or just watch the world go by. That’s the vision planners recently unveiled for the proposed 23-acre Irishtown Bend Park in Ohio City, which is a $90 million joint project being led by a consortium of governmental, civic non-profit and private partners.
“Irishtown Bend Park is going to redefine what Clevelander’s think of as their waterfront,” says Ohio City Inc. executive director Tom McNair. “This 23-acre riverfront greenspace will not only link our community to the water but will also tie together a growing network of trails that will allow you to get from Edgewater Beach to New Philadelphia.”
While the plans are not final — and the park will not be completed until 2026 — they include the following features:
• A 30-foot-wide promenade along the edge of the river
• A 2-acre great lawn for events and festivals
• The Maritime Theatre amphitheater, about twice as big as Lakewood’s popular Solstice Steps.
• A sledding hill and skating rink
• Trails that connect the river to Ohio City, as well as trails that connect the park to the region, including the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Lake Link Trail, the Redline Greenway, the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail.
• A basketball court
• Three slides — for all ages — that start at the top of the riverbank and take sliders to the river’s edge.
• A 1.5-acre universally accessible playground
• A plaza towards with grills and picnic tables
• An adult fitness area
• Commemorative gardens
• Massive improvements to stabilize the riverbank to protect the shipping channel.
With its sweeping views of the city skyline, Irishtown Bend Park is envisioned by planners to be a premier — and truly one-of-a-kind — city park.
“[We’re] sculpting this land in a way that creates space and a beautiful place to be,” says Scott Cataffa, the landscape architect behind the plan. “This is truly one of those moments when something spectacular happens in our city.”