Project Description

Client

City of Allegan

The restoration of Allegan’s historic iron bridge was the catalyst that caused citizens and public officials to look at its riverfront with renewed interest.  O’Boyle, Cowell, Blalock & Associates, Inc. (OCBA) was initially asked to study the entire 2-1/2 miles of riverfront which circles the City and make recommendations regarding future development.

Allegan’s Riverfront Development includes several small parks and gardens connected by continuous pedestrian walkway along the Kalamazoo River.  This riverwalk was cantilevered over an existing seawall to provide dramatic overlook areas and to create additional space for parking and other park amenities.  The phase one development area was selected for several reasons including its close proximity to the historic bridge and the Central Business District and its high visibility from a state highway, M-89.

Floating river fountains are one of the favorite attractions, and brick walks, historic lighting, wrought iron handrails, and comfortable benches also contribute to the riverfront’s pleasant atmosphere.  A lawn amphitheatre and gazebo create a strong anchor for the east end of Allegan’s Riverfront Development.  This park area also provides a prominent visual and physical link between the riverfront and the Central Business District.

Consultants to OCBA for the first phase of work included Kingscott Associates, Inc., and Carl Walker Engineers of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and G. J. McLravy and Sons, Inc., Lansing, Michigan.

OCBA was selected again in 2000 by the City of Allegan to develop plans for its Water Street Riverfront, a downtown Brownfield site along the Kalamazoo River.  Proposed improvements included a riverfront walkway and plaza with interpretive displays, a boardwalk with ornamental iron railings, and a gazebo and overlook deck that anchors the north end of the project.

Improvements were constructed in 2001 with the assistance of a CMI Grant from the State of Michigan.  Consultants to OCBA included Byce Associates, and Bruce Vanderweele, P.C.

Awards

Merit Award, 1988

Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects

Excellence on the Waterfront Honor Award, 1988

Waterfront Center