Skatepark construction is nearing completion on Spohn Ranch’s latest Illinois design/build project in New Lenox, Illinois. All of the concrete has been poured and all that remains is landscaping. Stay tuned for info on the official grand opening!
With the final flatwork pours completed as of last week, the Ute Tribe Skatepark is now officially open! The project began with a pre-existing slab of abandoned concrete at the Utero Indian Tribal Headquarters in Fort Duchesne, Utah. Local youth would flock to this rundown skate spot; filling it with homemade ramps and jumps. The community took notice of their effort to pursue their passion and rewarded them with the sparkling new concrete terrain that sits there today.
This 6,000 square foot skatepark wouldn’t be possible without the generous donation made by a local resident of the area. Filled with curves, bumps, ledges, and rails, this park proves to be an area that any skateboarder or community member will thoroughly enjoy.
With two Native American-related projects starting up this month, the Spohn Ranch family has had great reason to celebrate the rich culture and history of Native Americans.
In early May we broke ground on a concrete skatepark at the Utero Indian tribal headquarters in Fort Duchesne, Utah. Brought to fruition with a large donation from a local resident, this 6,000 square foot skatepark will become a true community showpiece for this small community of 650 residents. With few recreational opportunities on base, a space where youth can be constructive with their energy is clearly vital.
For years an abandoned concrete slab had become the defacto skatepark as local youth incrementally amassed a collection of homemade jumps, boxes and rails. Seeing the passion and dedication of these local youth first hand, community leaders knew a professionally-designed and constructed skatepark would become a huge asset for the tribal headquarters.
After clearing the slab of debris, we were able to use it as a giant foundation for new concrete elements that would be built from the ground up.
As one Spohn Ranch crew was charging ahead In Utah, another was working hard on a unique project at the renowned Museum of Man in San Diego, California. “Ramp it Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America” is an amazing art exhibition and clearly wouldn’t be complete without some live skating action. That’s where Spohn Ranch came into the picture. The task at hand – building a half-pipe inside the famed museum walls.
Not your typical setting for a half-pipe, the project involved some pretty intense planning and logistical coordination.
The exhibit is currently up and running! For more background information on the project check out the Musuem of Man’s website here.
Our latest Illinois design/build skatepark project is nearing completion in the Village of New Lenox. In order to meet the recreational demands of their rapidly growing population, this suburban community enlisted our help to design and construct a quality skatepark that would provide a safe, designated space for local youth, while also serving as a unique amenity that could attract new families to the area.
Presented with a tight plot and even tighter budget, we focused on providing strong feature diversity without overcrowding the space and causing traffic issues. We accomplished this with an in-depth study of how riders would flow through park during both peak and low usage times.
A few of the 4,000 square foot skatepark’s highlights include a sculptural mini-ramp, modern A-frame section and manual pad/ledge combination. With construction wrapping up in the next few weeks, we are sure that the local youth, freshly released from school, will be enjoying this park at the first chance.
Stay tuned for more updates as construction wraps and a grand opening date is announced.
Spohn Ranch’s final design for an innovative plaza-style skatepark in the heart of Brooklyn, New York. Working with New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for 3+ years, Spohn Ranch borrowed inspiration from urban architecture to create a one-of-a-kind space true to the street skating roots of New York.
It is very bittersweet time for us as we’ve just learned that the park is officially open. Unfortunately we were unable to bring this park to fruition as we envisioned. The City’s bidding laws forced them to go with the cheapest contractor. Therefore, we must issue a huge disclaimer that Spohn Ranch did not build this park and also apologize for both the quality of the construction and design modifications that were made during the build. Spohn Ranch looks forward to more quality design/builds in the Northeast.
Anthony Acosta, revered skateboarding photographer, took a trip down to Gardena with some buddies to shoot our latest design/build project at Rowley Park. Word on the streets is that the kids are loving the design and flocking from all over Southern California to ride it. Blake Johnson was one of them and put together this great clip here.
A couple of weeks back, we celebrated the grand opening of our recently completed skatepark project at Rowley Park in Gardena, California. Helping cut the ribbon was an incredibly rewarding experience as this project had been several years in the making, with a number of hurdles along the way.
Even more rewarding than the ribbon cutting however, was being able to take a step back and see what was once an empty patch of dirt now being thoroughly enjoyed by hundreds of skateboarders – all of different ages, races and social backgrounds. We received a lot of praise that day, but the sentiment we heard echoed over and over again was how beautiful the park looked and what an inviting space it was for not just skateboarders, but the entire community.
We want to say thank you to everyone who helped make this project possible. And if this wasn’t good news enough, we are currently building Gardena’s second skatepark at Johnson Park, with a grand opening tentatively scheduled for early June.
Our client, Kelly Fujio of Gardena Parks and Recreation, with President/Founder Aaron Spohn.
The skatepark build at Rowley Park in Gardena, California is moving along swiftly as the Spohn Ranch construction crew moves into the final stages of the project next week. The first of two skateparks Spohn Ranch will be building for the City of Gardena, this 7,000 square foot skatepark broke ground in late 2011.
When we checked in this week, the crew was pouring the last of the skatepark elements – the tiered planter. Mimicking the planter beds skaters love in the naturally-occurring urban environment., this feature anchors the eastern edge of the park and provides a near infinite amount of trick opportunities. Always respecting the planet, a good chunk of the framing lumber for this feature was recycled by Spohn Ranch from the old hand-ball court.
With all of the skate elements now complete, all that remains is the concrete flatwork that will unite all of the features and elevated areas. The crew is double-checking the grade and beginning to tie rebar as we speak. A few miles down the road at Johnson Park, progress is also underway as a second Spohn Ranch crew prepares the site for skatepark construction. Check back for updates as both projects move forward.
Spohn Ranch’s fifth skatepark for the City of Long Beach celebrated its official grand opening this past weekend. It was an amazing day for Long Beach skateboarding and was summed up incredibly well by the Tony Hawk Foundation here.
“Tony Hawk and a group of pro athletes joined about 300 city officials and local youth on Saturday for the grand opening of the Ernest McBride Skatepark in Long Beach, California. The Poly High neighborhood, where the skatepark is located, is home to one of the country’s most diverse urban communities, yet few recreational opportunities are available for its youth. The new 10,000-square-foot skate plaza is considered by local leaders as the area’s best chance to keep kids active, healthy, and safe from gangs and crime.
Spearheaded by former Long Beach City Council Member Mike Donelon and the nonprofit Action Sports Kids (ASK Long Beach) organization, the McBride Skatepark was a collaboration between the city, its citizens, and local advocacy groups. “The City Of Long Beach understands the benefits of skateparks, and is a huge supporter of the kids who ride them,” says Donelon. “Today was the climax of our skatepark program. With the help of the Tony Hawk Foundation, we built a world-class skatepark that is going to keep kids out of gangs and off drugs, and will help them stay active and get along.”
Tony Hawk presented the McBride Skatepark at THF’s Stand Up For Skateparks event in Beverly Hills in 2010, where he helped raise $45,000 for the project. Long Beach has been a leader in providing its at-risk youth with safe, quality public skateparks, and the McBride Skatepark is the latest addition to its ongoing skatepark program.
“It’s an excellent street-plaza design, with just enough transitions to make it well-rounded,” says Hawk. “It has something for all skill levels, and is exactly the type of project, area, and advocacy that we want to get involved with. It should be an example for other communities to follow.”
After a few brief speeches, Hawk and fellow celebrity skaters Geoff Rowley, Ron Chatman, Riley Hawk, Danny Gonzalez, Daewon Song, Chad Tim Tim, Clive Dixon, and Danny Montoya, plus BMXers Aaron Ross, Dakota Roche, and Gabe Brooks ripped through the park, demonstrating its potential before being joined by the hundreds of local youth who were keen to have their turn. “It was a blast,” says Hawk. “The kids were so eager to skate that we cut our demo short to let them in.”
Of the nearly 500 skateparks the Tony Hawk Foundation has helped to fund, the Ernest McBride Skatepark is the 417th to open. It’s a free, open-access facility that welcomes all wheeled youth—skateboarders, BMXers,
Throughout the development of the skatepark—from planning to fundraising to design—local youth were engaged and integral to the process. Now that their efforts have resulted in Long Beach’s latest public amenity, they can take pride in knowing that they helped create it. As both the City Of Long Beach and the Tony Hawk Foundation have understood for more than a decade, involving the youth in the process of developing the skatepark, and allowing them to invest their time and effort in the project, is the best way to ensure the park’s long-term success.
And the kids who were previously chased by police for riding their skateboards on city streets learned a thing or two about how local government can work for them; the skatepark stands as a concrete reminder of what they’ve accomplished through collaboration, cooperation, and compromise.”
All photos by Anthony Acosta.
“Los Angeles-based Spohn Ranch, a revered skatepark design/build firm, has broken ground on two new public skateboard parks in the City of Gardena, California.
Several years in the making, the skateparks at Rowley and Johnson Parks are a vital element in the Recreation and Human Services Department’s plan to provide more positive recreational opportunities for local youth. More than just a place to practice tricks, Spohn Ranch envisions the skateparks becoming vibrant community gathering spaces where skateboarders of all backgrounds can come together and form lasting connections.
Spohn Ranch completed a 9,000 square foot skatepark in the City of Long Beach earlier this month. The facility at Ernest McBride Park, already being called “the best skatepark in Long Beach” by many, celebrated an official grand opening this past Saturday with guest appearances from skateboarding legends including Tony Hawk, Geoff Rowley and Daewon Song.
The new skateparks in Gardena, located four miles apart, will each offer a little something different to keep the skateboarding experience continuously fresh and inspiring. While each design has the essentials for a fun session, they both offer completely unique features and flow patterns.
On the south end of town, Arthur Lee Johnson Memorial Park will soon be home to 7,000 square feet of skateable terrain. The space flows naturally out of an existing hillside and sits adjacent to two basketball courts. A triangular theme weaves through the skatepark’s interior and can be seen in the charcoal-tinted flatwork, as well as the park’s dynamic features. This artistic imprint accents the space with an unmistakable aesthetic quality. The park’s features are sculptural versions of skatepark staples such as gaps, banks and hubba ledges. With something for everyone, this park will simultaneously serve advanced skaters perfecting their craft, as well those who are just learning the basics.
On the north end of town, Rowley Park also occupies a 7,000 square foot space nestled in-between a children’s play area and a pair of tennis courts. If no skaters were present, community members could easily mistake the skatepark at Rowley Park as a visually-striking public plaza. Inspired by modern urban architecture, this park gives Gardena’s skateboarders the style of terrain they truly crave. At the same time, the park’s features double as architectural focal points that will intrigue the community at large. Seamlessly integrated into the Northeast corner of the park, this facility defines modern skateboarding environments – with vibrant colored concrete patterns, interior landscaping and an array of sculptural features.
Construction is officially underway at both sites, with completion tentatively scheduled for late March, early April.”
Construction progress at Rowley Park.
And a few more renderings of the Johnson Park skatepark design.
The Spohn Ranch family is proud to announce that our latest Los Angeles design/build project, Hansen Dam Skatepark, is officially open as of last week. Several long months in the making, the joyous experience of taking down the construction fencing was only surpassed by our predictable next step…riding the park!
Working with our 10+ year client, Los Angeles Recreation and Parks, the new facility at Hansen Dam Park is a state-of-the-art space unlike any other in the area. The well rounded space blends the multiple genres of skate terrain in a cutting-edge fashion by anchoring the park’s entrance with a unique bowl and snaking street-inspired features around a landscaped area in the center of the park.
The 8,800 square foot concrete skatepark features integral colored concrete, granite-capped ledges and brick stamped banks. With a 2,500 square foot flow bowl, the park also speaks to a somewhat neglected LA action sports subculture – transition skaters.
Working in the City of LA is challenging to say the least. It is one of the strictest and most expensive building environments in the nation, where only financially stable and well-staffed firms can survive. This project in particular presented several unique hurdles that while challenging at the time, helped us emerge as a wiser and more well-rounded firm – prepared to tackle the toughest of site constraints and most complex of logistical riddles.
To capture the true beauty of this space, we commissioned our good friend and staff photographer for Etnies, Sam McGuire, to shoot some photos of the park. Not to one to show up empty-handed, Sam arrived with Alien Workshop’s up-and-coming amateur rider Kevin Terpening and a few friends, who were all eager to skate the park.
In speaking with Kevin and friends, they really enjoyed the park’s unique circular flow and diversity of terrain.
An official grand opening ceremony hosted by the City of Los Angeles is in the works, so stay tuned for a time and date. Until then, we hope to see you out at the park!
Alright folks, this is about as small as a skate spot can be while still functioning properly. A park improvement plan for Felt Street Park in Santa Cruz, California called for a small skateboarding space in a 41′ x 57′ area.
With our expertise, we designed a small, yet imaginative area for local skateboarders. Thankfully this is Santa Cruz County’s 8th skatepark, so this skate spot will serve as a more of meet-up spot, rather than a full-fledged regional skatepark.
If your community is planning a new park or re-doing an existing one, but doesn’t have the funds or space for a large skatepark – skate spots and skate dots are great solutions!
Some footage here:
The project we first shared in July of 2011 is officially complete. Well, it’s not really skateable, but this unique project uses skatepark elements to create an interactive art installation. Conceived and designed by local artist Chris Green, this permanent outdoor art installation was commissioned by the NYC School Construction Authority for PS/IS 48 Q’s new school building in Jamaica, Queens. Spohn Ranch worked with Chris to select the proper elements and with our fabrication process nearly complete, they will be installed by Chris and his team within a few weeks.
“As the piece was installed in a heavily shaded west facing courtyard, the artwork marks various points on the annual calendar by reflecting sunlight from roof-mounted mirrors onto a series of GFRC walls. Etched into the concrete surfaces of the curved walls are 52 student-generated artworks showing the sun as a personified symbol – a petroglyphic style dating back to the Neolithic. The reflected sunlight passes over these engravings at various points in the day and year when the courtyard is darkest. Designs and sun symbols were generated in collaboration with 2nd grade students at the school over the course of a twenty-week residency.
This site-specific installation provides teachers as PS/IS 48 a vast resource for educational programs in astronomy, art history, geometry, social sciences, and ecology.”
Photos via Chris Green.
Our latest skatepark design/build project for the City of Long Beach, California is officially open as of this past Saturday’s ribbon cutting ceremony. Although the skateboarding area at Orizaba Park is quite small at only 3,600 square feet (45’ x 80’) it was definitely the highlight of the park’s revitalization. During the grand opening, it was also the most popular space in the park – a clear sign that investing in skateparks and skate spots is a valuable use of public funding. While a handful of kids messed around on the new basketball court, over 50 kids swarmed the skate spot with amazing passion and determination.
Our fifth skatepark for the City of Long Beach, this 3,500 square foot park will be a welcome addition to Long Beach’s diverse and growing skatepark master plan. With a small site and budget, this unique space will provide the local community’s up-and-coming skaters with a great space to progress before moving on to the City’s larger and more complex parks.
We wish they wouldn’t have fenced it, but super fun nonetheless. Big shout out to all of the behind-the-scenes players who helped make this happen!
Construction of the skate spot that is part of the new Temescal Valley Sports Complex is coming along swiftly, with only flatwork remaining as January comes to a close. A welcome addition to Riverside County, California’s diverse collection of skateparks, this 4,000 square foot skate spot takes an artistic twist on some skatepark staples like a fun box, quarter-pipe and grind box.
Prior to Spohn Ranch’s involvement, a playground manufacturer had steered the skatepark design towards an outdated and uninspired metal ramp layout. Working with a passionate County employee who had a background in skateboarding and appreciated modern skatepark design, we transformed the vision for the skateboarding space. While the skate spot is not intended to be a destination facility, it is set to become a valuable space for the immediate nieghorhood’s skateboarding population.
Stay tuned for construction updates and information on the Sports Complex’ official grand opening!
We are proud to announce that we are welcoming retired professional skateboarder Charlie Wilkins into the Spohn Ranch family as our new full-time CAD designer. We met Charlie this past summer as we were working with Alli Sports on the Dew Tour and immediately knew he would be a great fit.
While many know him from his Judas Priest-inspired onslaught in Maple’s “Black Cat”, Charlie’s involvement in skateboarding goes way beyond magazine spreads and video parts. Since turning pro in 1996, Charlie has spent several years as a World Cup Skateboarding judge, course designer and builder for the Dew Tour and instructor at countless skateboarding camps. With 20+ years of skateboarding under his belt, we are extremely excited to see his passion, creativity and well-rounded experience influence our work!
Check out Charlie in action at our in-process project – McBride Skatepark in Long Beach, California!
Thank goodness for the uncharacteristically warm weather the Midwest has been experiencing as of late, because the skateboarders of Holland, Michigan are getting some unexpected quality time at the new concrete skatepark. In 2011, Spohn Ranch was chosen as the skatepark designer and builder for the 10,000 square foot concrete space at Smallenburg Park. The project was our second for the City of Holland, as we successfully completed another 10,000 square foot park at Dirkse Park in 2009.
Officially open for a few weeks now, the park is already generating a lot of hype in the State of Michigan, with skateboarders traveling from across the state to ride one of the area’s most modern skateparks. Lined by large trees, the park has an incredibly inviting aesthetic and feels like a vibrant community gathering space.
Check out all of the shots from local photographer Dan Irving by clicking the photo above or check out some video footage of the skatepark below.
As 2011 winds to a close, we wanted to share a few of our favorite municipal projects from the past year. While the special event work we do is insanely fun, there is literally no better feeling than watching a community and a brotherhood form around a permanent structure that you created.
Many of our projects that came to fruition in 2011 were hard-fought journeys, several years in the making. After years of skaters being ticketed, kicked out and constantly told “NO”, we feel truly honored in helping communities across the US stand up and finally say “Yes!” to skateboarding.
We want to give a big thank you to all of our friends, family and partners who helped make 2011 such a special year. Looking forward to continuing the ride in 2012!
North Laurel Community Skatepark – North Laurel, Maryland
Phillips Park Skate and BMX Park – Aurora, Illinois
Dubbed the “gnarliest” skatepark in the suburbs of Chicago, this park combines 8,000 square feet of plaza terrain, 4,000 square feet of BMX transition and flowing spectator berms to create a truly unique action sports space.
Prairie Side Skate Plaza – Oregon, Illinois
Only 6,500 square feet, but this park’s innovative layout, architectural aesthetic and vibrant landscaping make it one of the most modern skateboarding spaces in the state of Illinois.
Marina Park Skatepark – Titusville, Florida
It’s hard to find a better setting for a skatepark than the coast of Florida. The waterfront views, colored concrete and open air feeling all come together to create a vibrant public space – arguably the most intriguing and visually-striking part of a new recreational complex.
McBride Skatepark – Long Beach, California
95% complete, this highly-anticipated park will officially open in early 2012. A 10+ year client, the City of Long Beach understood the positive impact of skateparks very early on and has been supporting skateboarding ever since with quality skateparks like this.
Hansen Dam Skatepark – Los Angeles, California
Another 10+ year client and 95%-er, this park is awaiting some final landscaping before it will open in 2012. 8,800 square feet of terrain, a unique flow bowl and a strong use of street-inspired granite and brick!
Fergusson Park Skatepark – Rialto, California
Made possible by the persistence of a local family with multiple generations of skateboarders, this 16,000 square foot park has been finished for a few months now, but is awaiting the completion of other park improvements before it will be officially shreddable.
Red Mountain Adventure Park – Woodland Park , Colorado
In a state known for its outdoor recreation, we couldn’t just build any old skatepark, we had to bring something special to the table. The end result – 24,000 square feet of concrete bowls, plazas and skillfully shaped BMX dirt jumps!
Thompson Park Skatepark – The Dalles, Oregon
In 2011 we wrapped up the 7,500 square foot phase 1 with a tight budget, made possible with donated materials and services from the City and local contractors. On a Dew Tour trip to Portland, the park’s co-designer Vince Onel got a first-hand feel for the park.