Tony Hawk Unveils New Skate Park In Downtown Detroit
Currently in the United States, there are roughly 500 skateboarding parks in existence. These parks range from the conventional, with traditional rails and vert ramps, to the unconventional, which use vacant shipping containers to craft eccentric skate park designs. There are 11 million unused shipping containers in the world that could go towards creating new and improved skate parks across the globe, but regardless of the design, the number of skate parks is growing fast.
Although many cities have dozens of high quality places to skate, there are still plenty of cities, both major and minor, that don’t have a quality skate park yet. Despite a thriving skate culture, Detroit is one of those cities that doesn’t seem to have any great locations for its youth to skate — until now.
According to the Detroit Free Press, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk is finally bringing a skate park to downtown Detroit.
“It’s a long time coming for Detroit to have a state-of-the-art skateboard park, and we are proud to partner with Tony Hawk and others to make it happen,” said Helen Johnson, vice president of strategic investment at Quicken Loans, which is working in partnership with contemporary art gallery Library Street Collective for the skate park.
The Detroit News reports that the city’s young population is already enjoying themselves at this new modern skate park.
“We usually just skate in the streets,” said 20-year-old skater Christiana Smith. “Part of what we do is we have to go out and skate and film, and if we don’t have parks, we go to the streets.”
Smith and many of her peers have found it difficult to skate in the city streets legally. Luckily, Hawk’s 4,600-square-foot skate park is a great place for them to skate, hang, videotape, and have fun.
“I think it’s amazing,” she added. “It’s really awesome for Detroit so everyone can see our all-inclusive skate community and how that should reflect the real world. We’re a bunch of people coming from a bunch of different places, and we all accept each other. We do that through skateboarding.”
The skate park opened in late August and will stay open through January. During the winter, when a new Monroe Blocks development will begin, the skate park will be moved to a new location. Luckily, Hawk and the designers knew this was coming so designed the park so it can be easily moved.
Hawk, along with Smith and other Detroit skaters, were able to skate together and test out the park before it opened.
“Skate culture is something that really informed his studio practice,” said Anthony Curis, partner at the Library Street Collective. “Knowing that and, at the same time, knowing there’s been a growing need for skate parks in the city, we felt it was a perfect fit to combine the two as an awesome public space in downtown Detroit.”